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Early Horizons or Devil's Paradise 

? II 


Unholy Russia 



The Land of the Caesars 



Hider's Germany 



Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fiihrer! 



The Children of Israel 



The German Protectorates 



No! No! Never! 



The Balkans To-day 



Arriba Espana! 



La Belle France 



John Bull and the Foreigners 


The Beginning 


APPENDIX I. A Note on Stalin 



II. A Note on Mussolini 



III. A Note on Hitler 



IV. The Fall of the House of Benes 



V. A Note on Pacifism 



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Fair Horizons or Devil's Paradise ? 


NCE upon a time, finding myself in the editorial chair 
of the Spectator, I offered a small prize for the best proverb 
or aphorism to guide a man through life. It was a popular 
competition. Out of nearly a thousand entries I chose: "Love, 
trust, dare, and go on doing it!' 

Two years afterwards, on a passage to Oslo in a nasty little 
boat that smelt of fish-oil, I met a man who pulled out of his 
pocketbook a cutting which he said was his constant solace 
and support. I felt seasick, and was suffering also from a 
heartache at the time, but the sight of the motto cheered me, 
rather faintly. 

To-day I think of it again in regard to Herr Hitler, and 
realize that every proverb has its opposite. How many times 
we have been bitten is a matter for discussion, but now with- 
out question we must be twice shy of his promises. His fault 
is writ large across a startled Europe. None of his neighbors 
trust him. The law of the jungle prevails. With the breaking 
of his pledge at Munich our recent hopes of disarmament 
and reconciliation lie shattered beyond the possibility of 
quick repair. 

It is sad to recall how recent these hopes have been. Only 
a few days before the swoop on Prague we were told that 
the skies were clearing. A trade delegation was about to sign 
an important agreement in Berlin. Sir Samuel Hoare was 
speaking of a Golden Age. The dove of peace seemed return- 
ing with the glories of our English spring. Then Hitler 

The pity of it! We are racially close to the Germans (in 

hs^A f%^^"' crt: 


spite of our blend of Roman temper and tradition) and 
we can influence them more than any other people can, 
and they us, when they are reasonable. Unfortunately 
they are dreamers. Dangerous dreamers, because of their 

In the past Germany was badly treated by us and by the 
French. In my view, from 1919 up to September, 1938, 
through twenty years of crises, each more hectic than the 
last, Germany had reason on her side. She was justified in 
slithering out of Reparations, whose total was never fixed; 
she was wise to elect Adolf Hitler, who gave her back her 
self-respect; she was entitled to reoccupy the Rhineland, 
which was German soil; and to take Austria, which had re- 
peatedly voted for reunion; and to rescue the Sudeten Ger- 
mans. Her methods were rash and her words bitter; but I 
was prepared to justify the indignation of a great people 
against the Treaty of Versailles. That is the past. Germany 
had many cards in her hands, but she has overplayed them, 
as so often before in her history, and lost the ace of hearts, 
which is the confidence of Europe. 

And so what ? The answer is not easy. It is, indeed, a long 
and difficult answer, and those who over-simplify it are 
doing their country a disservice. We cannot wage a world 
war to punish Herr Hitler for breaking his promise. There 
are also pledges which the British Government has not kept. 
Obviously, however, a crucial moment is coming. Where and 
when it is to be is the theme of this book. The plot thickens; 
indeed, it is so compHcated that I have taken about a hun- 
dred thousand words to describe it. Some of them are stiff 
and statistical words, but one must see how things began if 
one would shape their future, and this, I am afraid, is just 
what we have not done, and are not doing. We have been 
basing our foreign policy on delusions. 


We are a great nation, and a proud nation. It is humiliat- 
ing to be always supporting lost causes. In former times, 
when some serious issue arose, we had a habit of thinking 
quickly, and thinking right, even when inadequate informa- 
tion was at our disposal. Our instinct was sound. But to-day 
this delicate nose of ours has deteriorated : we hunt too many 
bagged foxes in our propagandist Press. We thought wrong 
about the Abyssinian and the Spanish wars. About Austria 
we were told that Dr. von Schuschnigg had practically the 
whole country behind him; and about Czecho-Slovakia that 
democratic Dr. Benes was beloved by everyone except the 
tiresome, swashbuckling Sudetens; and about Spain that 
Dr. Negrin was a sort of Spanish Baldwin, bent on curbing 
the passions of rival factions. These gentlemen were heralds 
of sweetness and light; the reason they failed, and were even- 
tually thrown out by their own people, was that we did not 
stand up to the wicked dictatorships. Mr. Chamberlain 
should have taken a stronger line. 

It is not true. Mr. Chamberlain took the right line, and is 
pursuing it with clear vision. Appeasement was a sane and 
Christian policy: it is no discredit to him that it has for the 
moment failed. 

For too long we have been trying to fight the dictators 
with printers' ink. In face of all die evidence to the contrary, 
three-quarters of our newspapers — unspecified owing to our 
difficult law of libel — have been sending out a flood of muddy 
misinformation and fraudulent flippancy with regard to Ger- 
many, Italy, and Nationalist Spain, reaching some 10,000,000 
or 12,000,000 readers daily. I write this weighing my words, 
and with first-hand experience of how rumors grow into 
"news-stories" in the bars of foreign capitals, and how lunch- 
time gossip becomes "the opinion of authoritative sources" by 
the time it reaches the British breakfast-table. There was the 
recent rumor that Germany had asked Rumania to disman- 


tie all her industries, announced in the Sunday papers, and 
denied in Bucharest and Paris next day. There was the state- 
ment that Germany had mobilized against Czecho-Slovakia 
on May 21st, 1938: it was given immense publicity, and its 
refutation very little. So with the landing of 40,000 Germans 
in Morocco, and the "massacre" at Badajoz, and the "anni- 
hilation" of Guernica, and the last fairy tale from Spain, told 
by the Leader of the Liberal Opposition in the House of 
Commons, and widely published, that General Franco 
devised infernal machines to look like chocolate boxes, in 
order to maim the children of his enemies. . . . Nothing 
is too fantastic to be printed, and unfortunately to be 

The reason for this Hitler-hate and Moscow-mindedness 
(so to speak) is quite simple. It is that "big business" runs 
our newspapers, and that it hates Fascism and Nazism, but is 
no longer afraid of Communism. 

Newspapers, most people know nowadays, depend for 
their life on advertising. They are sold for a penny, but cost 
about twopence to produce. Whatever the views of proprie- 
tors or editors, they cannot afford to offend advertisers for 
any length of time. A newspaper with a circulation of 
1,000,000 may receive from advertising revenue more than 
;r5,ooo a day; obviously no reserve of capital or private for- 
tune could long withstand a withdrawal of such support. It 
is true that a merchant is primarily concerned with how 
many people will see his advertisement, and not with the 
views of any particular editor (the late Lord Riddell once 
told me with a chuckle that advertisers prefer a newspaper 
with no opinions at all, written for readers with a tidy allow- 
ance of cash but a slender allowance of brains) ; nevertheless 
no man will spend thousands of pounds in a newspaper 
which annoys him. No advertiser need do so, however, for 


his views and those of the proprietor are probably not far 
divergent. Dictatorships such as those of Germany and Italy 
(but not the Communist dictatorship, which is the apotheosis 
of "big business") favor the "little man" at the expense of 
the great department store, and the producer at the expense 
of the company promoter. The City of London has seen 
that we cannot be the world's bankers if the nations adopt 
closed economic systems. Authoritarian regimes rarely ask 
for loans. They are producer-fixated, instead of being finan- 
cier-fixated. Our diplomats and financiers predicted that 
the dictatorships would fail, but they were wrong: they were, 
in fact, working very well for the small farmer, small shop- 
keeper, small producer, and would again, if the fear of 
war could be removed. The dictorships are as suspicious 
of us as we are of them. They believe that we want to stifle 
their trade and ruin them; and they want security as much 
as we do. But the financier wants the opposite. He wants 
flux: change: an active market; and the financier rules our 

So it is that the average reader, getting good value for his 
money (because it is good value, if you consider only the 
"features" a newspaper contains — racing tips — crosswords — 
gossip), will glance at the foreign news and form his opin- 
ions along the lines desired by the rich men who own or 
support the newspapers. There is no mystery, no sinister plot. 
It is all in the line of business. A somewhat circuitous line, 
perhaps: you pay your penny and get two-pennyworth of 
entertainment. Many of us buy our newspaper for its insur- 
ance policy rather than for any other policy; and few of us 
have the time, inclination, or opportunity to discover at first- 
hand what is really happening in Bratislava, alias Pressburg, 
or Memel, alias Klaipeda. . . . 

In a Press like ours — and I am in favor of a free Press, in 


spite of the bunkum talked about it — the mischief-makers 
and malice-mongers have an advantage over responsible 
writers. Lies are often amusing or exciting, v^hereas the truth 
is frequently dull, especially if v^e don't v^ant to hear it. A 
man v^ho goes to Germany and reports that the Fiihrer is 
loved by the people is a bore, and may be a dupe, and, any- 
w^ay, he is certain to be unpopular in present circumstances, 
whereas one who reports that Hitler is going mad, or has 
quarreled with all his generals, is sure of an interested public. 
We used to be told the same sort of yarns about Mussolini at 
the beginning of the Abyssinian War. . . . What would 
Left- Wing newspapers have said, by the way, if there had 
been dozens of bombs exploded in Germany, as there have 
been recently in England .^^ 

My own opinion is that up to the spring of 1938 we were 
more at fault in this wretched campaign of invention and 
distortion than were the dictatorship countries, but that since 
then they have been repaying us in our own coin. Repaying 
us with interest. But can we permanently adopt the attitude 
that because of our freedom we can say what we like about 
foreigners, but that if they reply we are being unjustly at- 
tacked? True, there is a strong censorship in Germany and 
Italy, but these countries have no intention of allowing them- 
selves to be abused without answering back. 

The surface situation has all the absurdity and hysteria of 
a domestic quarrel, and would subside as quickly (but cdiquid 
hcereV. something sticks, and there would be, of course, some 
very serious divergencies to be settled in a calm atmosphere) 
as soon as we curbed our tongues. We cooperate to stop 
drug-smuggling; why cannot we do something to limit the 
currency of political dope which arouses the most dangerous 
passions of mankind ? 

"No man can justly censure another," wrote Sir Thomas 


Browne, "because no man truly knows another," but we are 
far from his time. Far even from pre-war standards, when 
criticism of foreign statesmen rarely descended to vulgar 

Naturally we fear the Nazis and Fascists more than we do 
the Communists, because they have been more successful. 
But that is no reason why we should not tell the truth about 
them. If war were inevitable, as it would be, for instance, if 
Germany or Italy increased their navies beyond a certain 
point, nagging at the dictators would do no good. Bulldogs 
don't bark before they bite. 

The barkers seem to be people who cannot forgive dicta- 
torships for disturbing their dreams of a world order based 
on Geneva, the gold-standard, and international lending. 
Some of them are peaceable, and do not understand the con- 
sequences of the noise they make ; others want war to retrieve 
their lost illusions. All of them, until recently, were preach- 
ing disarmament and various brands of pacifism. Now — God 
forgive them! — that we have an Arab revolt threatening, and 
a difficult Balkan situation, they go on abusing the authori- 
tarian States, instead of trying to make sure that if we do 
have to fight we shall do so only for our own vital interests. 

4L ^ ^ 


If this had not been an age of miracles I would not have 
undertaken so large a task as I have, nor one so likely to be 
unpopular as praising certain aspects of modern Germany 
and Italy. But it was a necessary task; and as Sa'adi says: "If 
the diver were to think of the jaws of the crocodile he would 
get no pearls." And again, "What has the goose to fear from 
a thunderstorm?" 

The thunderstorm is close to us. Mr. Neville Chamberlain 
is here, with his symbolical umbrella, but are we really facing 


the realities which are always present to Continental nations ? 
I am afraid not. 


I began this book sitting at the window of an hotel above 
Vevey, in Switzerland, on a summer's evening, thinking of 
the high resolves and abject frustrations of Europe during the 
last twenty years. 

Chillon [I wrote] stands whitely over Lac Leman, brooding upon 
the past. All the French coast is mirrored in opalescent waters. Away 
to the west, unseen in the twilight, rises the would-be centre of the 
world, the great, godless new Palace of the Nations, with its purple 
gravel and peacocks. . . . 

Purple gravel and peacocks! There I stuck; there was 
nothing else to say about the League of Nations. I added a 
couple of stilted sentences: 

No need now to flog that dead horse! Let us rather praise the desire 
of the nations that gave it birth, and hope for its renewal in a 
regenerated world. . . . 

Distracted, I began to write about another horse, a fan- 
tastic and fascinating creature, which if it could be exhibited 
would draw crowds greater than the Giant Panda to the 
Zoo. But the Red Horse of Troy* is elusive. No Liberal can 
recognize it, for Liberals are color-blind to red. Journalists 
see it sometimes in Fleet Street, but find it advisable not to 
mention the forelegs of Stalin and the backside of Dimitrov, 
lest they should offend those of us to whom it is a sacred 

* On August 2nd, 1935, the Secretary-General of the Third (Communist) 
International, Gregori Dimitrov, reminded his hearers of the story of Troy, and 
recommended them to enter the camp of capitalism disguised as democrats, in 
order to disrupt the enemy from within. These tactics produced the reigns of 
the Popular Fronts in Spain and France. 


The more I studied the Red Horse the less I liked the 
looks of the brute. At first sight he seemed absurd: the device 
of a group of lunatics in Moscow which ought not to deceive 
a child. But it has deceived, and does deceive more than 
children. The Horse can carry its invaders into all sorts of 
surprising places, such as the Deanery of Canterbury, the 
ducal demesnes of Atholl, and the White House at Wash- 
ington. Austria and Czecho-Slovakia and Spain are already 
history: history made against a barrage of histrionic and un- 
availing protests from a duped and doped democracy of two 
hundred million English-speaking people, because — as I see 
it — we were always on the wrong side (until March, 1939), 
and always trying — in the name of democracy, if you please — 
to prevent the accomplishment of the will of the people con- 
cerned. To-day, however, Germany, by her deliberate disre- 
gard of Mr. Chamberlain's efforts to promote goodwill, has 
done her best to make the most sinister prophecies of Madame 
Tabouis, Mr. Vernon Bartlett, and Commander Stephen 
King-Hall come true. 

Incidentally, I know these three Cassandras, and cannot 
help "liking the two first named. Madame Tabouis is a repre- 
sentative Frenchwoman, with all the fire and flexibility and 
intelligence of her race. There is nothing small or mean about 
her intentions, in spite of the shocking stuff she writes. Ver- 
non Bartlett has a good brain, and a real knowledge of 
Europe: when I read the News Chronicle I am filled with 
wonder about this world of ours, in which we both honestly 
think we are telling the truth. 

Certainly the whole truth can never be told about any man, 
or woman, or country, if one hopes for peace. But I shall be 
objective, as far as in me lies, and the story I have to tell 
hangs together and makes sense. On one condition. If you 
are not a Christian, it may appear fantastic to suggest that 
there are forces of evil in the world working against the 


powers of good. The Devil has become unfashionable. He 
has gone "underground," like the Communists. But unless 
you believe in the Devil this book v^ill provide no explanation 
of v^hat is happening in the v^orld. 

We shall always have to wrestle with an Adversary. In 
this book I have often labeled him the Red Horse, or the 
Comintern, but his forms will always be protean. He might 
easily exchange the skin of Stalin for that of Hitler. Perhaps 
he has already done so. He will always be urging some 
Gadarene herd over some precipice. It is the way the world 
is made. It was right for Russia (I am not approving the 
ways of Providence, or criticizing them, but only trying to 
explain my viewpoint) and good for Russia that she should 
have been saddled with the Bolsheviks, because it was her 
mission to change the face of the world through Communism 
and through the reactions which it induced. It was right and 
good for Spain to be faced with the terrible trials which she 
has met with so much courage (on both sides), because only 
through them could she have driven out the evil that was 
destroying her. A measure of adversity is necessary for 
healthy growth. Sheltered plants are rarely strong: 

The troubles of our proud and angry dust 
Are from Eternity, and shall not fail. 

Satan incarnates sometimes in diose who cannot support 
the burden of our civilization and would shatter it to bits, 
and sometimes in the body of a man of genius, to scourge 
the earth, and sometimes in amiable and idealistic guises, 
capturing the minds of saints even, and others unconscious 
of the parts they play. He has cleverer snares than pride and 
great possessions to spread in the sight of the birds of democ- 
racy: in France and England to-day he stands often in the 


shoes of Liberalism, a fine figure of a bourgeois, believing in 
a free Press, free elections, and self-determination. Except, of 
course, when the results would be displeasing, as in Palestine. 
These British Liberals! A famous Spanish scientist, Dr. 
Maranon, himself a Liberal, and one of the Fathers of the 
Republic, has expressed what I feel about them most elo- 
quently. He says:* 

If it were possible to find a single cause for the present upheaval 
of humanity, I should not hesitate to say that it is to be found in the 
great mistake of the Liberals of the world. They originally repre- 
sented the humanist tendency in civilization . . . but to-day the 
majority of them sympathize with the most anti-Liberal and anti- 
humanist of all the political ideologies that have ever existed, the 
Communist ideology. . . . Spanish Liberals know where they are, 
but those of the rest of the world are not yet enlightened. I am not 
writing with the idea of convincing them. In politics the only psy- 
chological mechanism of change is not conviction but conversion. 
One should always suspect the man who changes because he says he 
has been convinced. One day the Liberals of the world will experi- 
ence a thunder-clap and lightning-flash and will fall to the ground. 
When they return to consciousness they will have learned once more 
the way to the truth. 

In addition to Dr. Maranon, Senors Lerroux, Ayala, and 
Madariaga were names to conjure with among the Left- 
Wing intellectuals of the world. But now these good Spanish 
Liberals have seen the Devil at close quarters and they are no 
longer prophets in Bloomsbury. . . . 

What we are witnessing is a general readjustment in the 
ideas of government in Europe. The Russians began it, but 
their methods (to say the least) were unsuitable to Christen- 
dom. Then Italy, then a dozen other countries evolved their 
own methods, and found them good. Now (besides Italy) 

* Liberalism and Communism, by Dr. G. Maranon. Spanish Press Service, 
London, 1937. 


Germany, Spain, the Baltic States, Poland, Rumania, Yugo- 
slavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and Portugal — say 
258,500,000 people in Europe alone, many of them admit- 
tedly of high culture and intelligence — have come to the 
conclusion that they have discovered political systems supe- 
rior to the British. 

These people may all be barbarians, w^ho will one day see 
the light and return to democracy. But it v^ould be wiser to 
convince the world of our superiority by example, rather 
than by sermons. Unfortunately our Left-Wingers and Pluto- 
democrats cannot desist from preaching. They cannot bear 
to believe that anyone is prospering under regimes of which 
they do not approve, so they have indulged in "wish-think- 
ing" on a scale unprecedented in history. 

But the world, as it is unfolding itself before our insular 
and somewhat self-complacent eyes, is redefining its ideas of 
liberty. Political liberty is a delusion in great modern States. 
Someone must do the governing. Perhaps the English dis- 
covered this first of all, for our highly paid and irremovable 
Judiciary and Civil Service was an excellent kind of authori- 
tarian rule, until universal suffrage and the spread of educa- 
tion gave too much power to the Press Lords. But we go on 
mumbling the old catchwords. 

So it seems to me, who have been a wanderer through the 
new and rising nations of Europe. I have, indeed, traveled 
much, and can claim to know intimately the countries of 
which I have written here. I was born in Italy and was taken 
from Genoa to Boston, U.S.A., at the age of six. I spoke 
Italian before I spoke American. I spoke French before I 
went to school, and during the Great War I was for a time 
an interpreter in that language. Before I went into the Army 
I had spent a year in Germany at the impressionable age of 
seventeen. I have visited all the countries of Europe, many of 
them many times, except Portugal, unfortunately, but in- 


eluding the Republic of San Marino^ with its agreeable jam 
tarts and strong white wine. 

I have said little of the Baltic States, hemmed in between 
Teuton and Slav and Pole, and nothing of Belgium, where a 
young King is shepherding very kittle cattle, and nothing 
of that marvelous land of Holland, v/ith its vivid foregrounds 
and misty distances of windmills and church spires against 
violet clouds and silver demi-lunes of dykes. And I have said 
nothing of the sane and superb countries of Scandinavia, 
whose people I love with more than a brother's affection, 
and nothing of Switzerland, who has solved her religious and 
racial diversities with rare tolerance (though it took her some 
centuries) so that to-day she is an example to the world. 
May her example in another matter be also noted: in five 
out of her twelve Cantons she has banned the Communist 
Party. The Swiss love liberty as much as we do, and 
are as hospitable as we are to all sorts of cranks, but 
they know more than we do of the tactics of the Trojan 

JL ^ J^ 

tP TT w 

Although I have no first-hand knowledge of Portugal, I 
venture to cite her recent history in order to point a moral 
and adorn this tale. . . . After eighteen revolutions in six- 
teen years of Liberal Democracy, from 1910 to 1926, and 
forty changes of Government, General Carmona, the present 
President, took power by means of a military coup d'etat, and 
so added Portugal to the long list of successful dictatorships 
in Europe. Immediately the Portuguese realized that there 
was a new and steadier hand on the helm. It was only two 
years later, however, in 1928, when the General discovered 
an ascetic young Professor of Economics, Dr. Oliviera Salazar, 
that Portugal began to regenerate herself in earnest. 


Salazar was asked to come to Lisbon as financial adviser. 
Before doing so he spent the night in prayer. In Lisbon he 
soon discovered that nothing could be done unless he had a 
free hand. So he returned to his University, only to be sum- 
moned thence, a few days later, with the offer of practically 
unlimited powers, financial at first, afterwards practically 

In 1928 the League of Nations was ready to give Portugal 
a loan, on the usual conditions of foreign control. It was re- 
jected: the country trusted Salazar and was ready to make 
the necessary sacrifices. Portugal is poor, with only 8,000,000 
inhabitants (and 8,000,000 more in her Empire) and taxa- 
tion had to be screwed up. The alternative, however, would 
have placed her Empire in pawn to foreign financiers. Cor- 
ruption in Government circles was sternly repressed. The 
administration was overhauled. To-day Portugal is independ- 
ent of any foreign tutelage. Schools have multiplied. Hun- 
dreds of miles of new roads have been built. The army and 
navy have been reorganized. There is a small but efficient air 
force. Above all, the condition of the poor, which was de- 
plorable under Liberal Democracy, has been improved out of 
all recognition. Real wages have increased by some 25 per 
cent. It is the old story, which we shall follow through many 
versions; and as usual Salazar's success has been pursued by 
the envy, hatred and malice of Popular Fronts and Com- 
munists everywhere, particularly in Spain. 

Had the Communist revolution succeeded in Spain, there 
is no doubt that the Bolsheviks would have fomented revo- 
lution in Portugal, in order that the whole Peninsula should 
be under the Red Flag. Indeed, Senor Largo Caballero an- 
nounced that one of the first tasks of Republican Spain, after 
"the suppression of the rebels," would be the formation of a 
Union of Iberian Socialist Republics. 


And what has been heard in England, or in the United 
States, of this most Christian dictator? A few lectures have 
been given and a few articles written, but Dr. Salazar's work 
is on the whole unknown to the English-speaking world. 
Unknown, because unwelcome to the Left Wing and Great 
Soft Center of democracy. 

We have ties with Portugal more ancient than with any 
other country; and closer than with any except France. 
Our trade routes converge within the Lisbon-Azores-Cape 
Verde triangle, and we guarantee the scattered Portuguese 
Empire. If ever we are at war again, the value of a friendly 
and Christian Portugal, insuring our communications with 
the Americas, the Cape, and the Mediterranean, is obvious. 
I do not, myself, believe that either the Mediterranean or the 
European Atlantic seaboard is absolutely vital to our exist- 
ence. The route by Northern Ireland and Newfoundland, 
which we used in the Great War, practically safeguards us 
from hostile airplanes and submarines. None the less, the 
converse to a friendly and Christian Portugal, with the Red 
Flag flying over Lisbon, is not pleasant to contemplate. 

To a deeply religious man, such as Dr. Salazar, our attitude 
toward the Spanish War must have been almost un-under- 
standable. How could we, a Christian nation, believing in 
freedom, support a Government which had permitted the 
wholesale slaughter of its political opponents, and which had 
closed practically all the churches in its territory ? How could 
we? The question may have been in Dr. Salazar's mind 
when he answered Mr. Cordell Hull's high-sounding Foreign 
Policy Statement of July i6th, 1937, in which the American 
Secretary of State asked the nations of the world whether 
they believed in "national and international self-restraint and 
abstinence from the use of force," et cetera, et cetera through a 
plethora of platitudes. Fifty nations replied in the same tone, 
that they appreciated ?rL- their high value die principles enun- 


ciated by the Secretary of State, and agreed that "no effort 
should be spared to avoid armed conflict." Portugal's reply 
was original and independent. After referring to the "ab- 
stract and generalizing tendencies of jurists," she called at- 
tention to danger of "excessive ambition to find a sole method 
for the solution of international problems, applicable urbi et 
orbi and covering a v^hole which is manifestly superior to the 
intelligence of men and their capacity of execution."* Finally, 
said Portugal, "the nations have acquired the habit of in- 
trusting the solution of grave external problems to vague 
formulae. To acknowledge by means of an impartial examina- 
tion of present world affairs the inanity of the efforts made 
hitherto appears to this Government the first step, and the 
indispensable preparation of the ground for any constructive 
And so say I! 

* Hf * 

Standing before the helmet and mailed fist of Charlemagne 
in the treasury of Aachen Cathedral it is curious to reflect 
what would have happened to us — to all of us in Europe — if 
that great Emperor had been succeeded by men of equal 

His sign-manual, written round a Cross, in curious resem- 
blance to a swastika, ran from the Baltic to the Black Sea. 
He was a great man in every sense (he measured 6 feet 3 
inches), and he gave Europe a peace and unity that it has 
not known since the ninth century. In those days the nations 
were in a fluid state, shaping themselves in the womb of time 
between the polarities of the Emperor in Aachen and the 
Pope in Rome. Had a Charlemagne succeeded a Charle- 

* International Conciliation for NevembrJr, ,1937. Carnegie Endowment for 
International Peace, NeW York; . ' V '' * • ' '■ 


magne down the centuries, there would have been a United 
States of Europe. We would have been just as civilized, or 
more so, but we should not have been the people we are. 
William would never have conquered us and introduced the 
catalyst of Norman blood among the tribes that Harold 
ruled. We might have been more docile, and probably a good 
deal stupider. 

To-day we have Hitler instead of Charlemagne. 

We have wished him on ourselves. First, because the rise 
of the Nazi power was directly due to the injustices to which 
we subjected Germany after the War. Secondly, and more 
immediately, because we drove a renascent and powerful 
Italy from our councils into the arms of Germany, under the 
threat of starvation through Sanctions. Drove her unwill- 
ingly. Mussolini mobilized to prevent the Anschluss in 1934. 
He would have done so again in 1938 but for our fatal for- 
eign policy. Latins are not at ease with Teutons, and never 
will be: the two nations are as naturally antipathetic as we 
and Germany might be naturally friendly. 

Instead of limiting Italy's Abyssinian campaign, our policy 
of Sanctions had exactly the opposite effect. With fifty-two 
nations ranged against her, the whole country rallied to 
Mussolini, and her then lukewarm enthusiasm for the adven- 
ture mounted rapidly to boiling-point. The Duce was com- 
pelled to conquer or to die. He conquered, and in doing so 
swallowed the bitter leek of Berlin. 

That leek still sticks in his throat. The dictatorships have 
been so apparently successful in their policy of pounces and 
swoops that we tend to forget that there are anxious minds 
behind the front of triple brass. 

I have described the countries I know best and have visited 
most recently, trying to feel as they feel, and trying to re- 
member what they remember. Germans, Italians, Spaniards, 


have seen things happen in their villages and in their cities 
v^^hich we can hardly imagine here in sheltered England. We 
fail sometimes in imagination. So do all nations. But v^e, of 
all people, fail least v^hen the testing moment arrives. 

My reason for tracing in some detail, as I shall, the ghastly 
story of the revolutionary movements in Russia, Italy, Ger- 
many, Hungary, and Spain is that wc may be v^^arned of 
w^hat may happen before it is too late. We have come to hate 
Hitler so heartily that v^e may come to love Stalin too much. 
What may happen in England is probably not revolution, 
but the kind of disintegration which occurred in France 
under the Popular Front. 

I dislike Communism because I disHke any sort of interna- 
tionalism. Frankly, although I was born abroad, I often feel 
inclined to heave half a brick at the foreigner; but that does 
not prevent my knowing he exists, and has every right to 
exist. Foreigners have my best wishes as long as they keep 
themselves to themselves, but this is just what the Comintern 
does not do. Its business is propaganda, setting Europe by the 
ears, revolution. We shall have no peace as long as it exists. 
But except for the Comintern I have no quarrel with the 
great Russian people. Each nation has its part to play, its 
contribution to make to history. Let them glorify their sickle 
and hammers, fasces, swastikas, yoke and arrows. There is 
plenty of room in the world for all of us, as I shall try to 


Unholy Russia 

God rest you, peaceful gentlemen, but give us leave to pass, 
We go to dig a nation's grave as great as England was! 
For this Kingdom and this Glory and this Pow^er and this Pride, 
Three hundred years it flourished — in three hundred days it died! 
Russia to the Pacifists, igi8, by Rudyard Kipling. 

Xn Leningrad, at the Smolny Institute, which was pre- 
viously an aristocratic academy for girls, I visited the little 
bedroom and sitting-room from which Lenin directed the 
October Revolution of 1917. 

It is a shrine of Communism, and its plain, whitewashed 
walls preserve an atmosphere of heroism and simplicity : one 
senses here something of the good side of the Bolshevik 
movement: the austerity of the lives of its leaders, their ideal- 
ism, their courage in tackling a task which would daunt even 

Lenin and his comrades were no supermen (most of them 
were quite the contrary, if their confessions can be believed), 
but their place in history is assured, for they have shaken the 
earth more profoundly than Tamerlane or Genghis Khan. 
To reflect on what might have been, had other administrators 
been in power, as capable but less influenced by the desire of 
world revolution, and more concerned for the welfare of 
Russia, would be profitless. Their deeds may seem unbe- 
lievable to future ages, but it is well to remember that they 
were acting under grave provocation. Doubtless they were 
instruments of Providence. 

Indisputably old Russia was in need of drastic reform. The 
Czar was a well-intentioned weakling, with all the stubborn- 



ness of stupidity, and the aristocracy (although not the 
Czar's immediate circle) was mostly dissolute and incapable. 
It is true that many aristocrats were reformers, and had been 
so since the days of the Dekabrists (those idealistic nobles of 
the early nineteenth century who live in Nekrasov's poem), 
but the world-resounding indignation of Tolstoy and the 
heart-searchings of Chekhov did not alleviate the sufferings 
of the poor. Lenin was needed. Needed, because the Russians, 
who might have saved their country, such as Stolyapin, were 
murdered or disgraced ; and because, later, Kerensky was not 
the man for the days of destiny following the Czar's ab- 

The middle classes — a small but growing body — were wor- 
shipers of Mammon. The Orthodox clergy, although they 
numbered some saints among them, were generally igno- 
rant and corrupt. The richer farmers ground the faces of the 
peasants. To-day it is easy to say that the Bolsheviks killed 
too many brittle intellectuals (easy, and amply justifiable), 
but to do them justice we must admit that they were con- 
fronted by great difficulties. Russia was in a state of anarchy, 
and was surrounded by rival armies, whose methods were 
hardly less brutal than those of the Communists. Some lop- 
ping of the heads of the tallest poppies was inevitable. 

The Bolsheviks, whatever their crimes and blindnesses, 
planned for posterity on a big scale. Their experiments have 
not yielded the results expected, yet an undeniable grandeur 
remains, a vision of what might be, and can be. They have 
given hope, and the horizon of a full life to millions of young 
people; and have quintupled the industrial output of Russia 
since 1929. 

Illiteracy has decreased (although not so much as the Bol- 
sheviks claim) and the circulation of newspapers is now said 
to be 20 million a day, or 13 times more than in the days of 
the Czar. (It would be fair to say, however, that if writing 


has increased in quantity it has decreased in quality.) Indus- 
trial cities have grown out of virgin forests: Magnetogorsk 
has 200,000 inhabitants, Karaganda 150,000, Berezniki 80,000, 
Komsomolsk 50,000. Many towns have doubled or tripled 
their size. The face of Moscow has been changed, and it has 
grown from 1,000,000 to 4,000,000 inhabitants to-day. Work- 
ers have increased from 14,500,000 in 1930 to more than 
26,000,000 in 1937. The hydro-electric power station on the 
Dnieper, the Volga-Moscow Canal, the Turksib Railway, 
represent great efforts in nation-building. (They are not the 
greatest enterprises of their kind in the world, as is often al- 
leged by Communists, nor are they always functioning satis- 
factorily. The British have built greater power stations in 
India, the Germans and Italians more and better roads, the 
French more railways — in the North of France — the Amer- 
icans greater barrages than the Russians have since 191 7. But 
this is not to say that there has not been immense industrial 
progress in the U.S.S.R.) The Bolsheviks, we must admit, 
have developed die country with great speed, however ruth- 
less and clumsy they may have been. 

The Smolny Institute is an enormous building. Through 
its corridors, which once rang with girlish laughter, mes- 
sengers were tramping with fly-blown bundles of files. Com- 
missars sat in their shirt-sleeves, v/ith cigarettes and glasses 
of tea, planning, planning. (To-day bureaucracy has spread 
to other immense and impressive skyscrapers.) A mountain 
of memoranda rose at their elbows, as it does at the elbows of 
all the bureaucrats on earth. This hive of offices, these piles 
of files, returned to my memory time and again while I 
traveled through Russia. They were symptomatic — like 
Lenin's tomb, which looks grand in the distance, but is poor 


in detail — symbolical of a huge human failure behind an 
imposing facade of planning. 

From the Red Square, especially at night, when the 
mausoleum of the greatest materialist of modern times 
stands foursquare, gleaming, monolithic, against the 
rose-pink walls of the Kremlin, and high and far above 
it the Red Flag flutters flood-lighted, one gains an im- 
pression of strength and unity of purpose. But inside, the 
lighting effects are those of a cabaret, and the sallow 
mummy that meets the visitor at the end of the 
pilgrimage is a peep-show and an anti-climax, almost an 

Vladimir Iliich Ulianov, the slant-eyed bourgeois from 
the Volga whom the world came to know as Lenin, was 
a great figure, though an evil force. He founded his 
power on a Terror hitherto unparalleled, but he was good 
and kind in private life. Here, under glass, is Lenin, 
with his yellow face, magnificently molded forehead, 
thin red beard, sardonic smile, and a wart by the right 
eye. Those little waxy hands, folded over the flag of the 
Paris Commune, wrote a warning against Stahn as life 
ebbed from them. Now Stalin is the judge of what Lenin 
intended, and signs the death-warrants of those who dis- 
agree. ... 

^ ^ ^ 

TT •7P ^r 

After luncheon^ on the day on which I visited the Smolny 
Institute I was able to compare the late Czar's bedroom 
with Lenin's, for I was taken, as all tourists are, to Tsar- 
koye Selo, the vast white chateaux where the Romanoffs 

* On this occasion a well-nourished Englishman of my party — the representa- 
tive of a Co-operative Society — ordered a bottle of beer. The price w^as five 
roubles, which was 17s- 6d- at the official rate of exchange. His enthusiasm for 
the Socialist Experiment waned perceptibly. 


lived, now renamed Detskoye Selo, "the Children's 

In the Little Summer Palace all stands as it did when 
Nicholas II and his family lived there through the anxious 
last years of his reign, from the shooting in front of the 
Winter Palace, in January, 1905, until three weeks before 
his abdication. 

The fall of the House of RomanofiF is a story that moves 
to its close with the inevitability of Greek tragedy. In Dets- 
koye Selo, before the Czar's writing-desk, covered with 
family portraits and all the knick-knacks of Victorianism, 
one can understand his intense conservatism, his belief in 
his mission, and something of the atmosphere which made 
it possible for a lascivious Siberian peasant to arrive as a 
prophet to the Court, to heal the sick Czarevitch.* . . . The 
Czarevitch, who had a little table and a little chair beside his 
father, that he might learn his role as Autocrat of All the 
Russias. . . . 

When the Czar played his last card — the Constitution — 
he wrote to his mother (in November, 1905) : 

You remember those January days, when we were together, and so 
unhappy? Well, they were nothing to what has happened now. . . . 
During these horrible days I have had continual conferences with 
Witte. There are only two courses: to find an energetic soldier to 
crush the rebellion by force. This would give us time to breathe, but 
after a few months we would probably have to have recourse to 
force again, which would entail rivers of blood, and leave us where 
we started. The other course is to give the people their civil rights, 
liberty of speech and press, and the obligation of submitting all laws 
to the Duma, which naturally means the granting of a Constitution. 
We discussed this for two days, and at last, asking for Divine aid, 
I signed. 

* Sir Paul Dukes, in his vivid Diary of S.T. 25 (Cassell, 1938), says that ladies 
of the nobility would lick Rasputin's fingers after dinner, to clean them, since he 
did not know how to use a knife and fork. 


You can't imagine what I had to go through before I came to this 
terrible decision, which I have made, however, with a clear con- 
science. There was nothing for it except to make the Sign of the 
Cross, and to agree to what the people were demanding. My one 
consolation is that this is the will of God, and that my action will 
take my dear Russia out of the intolerable chaos in which it has been 
for nearly a year. 

The Czar gave his people too little, or too much. The 
Universities and the young people w^ere of various shades 
of red, from Menshevik pink to the scarlet of Bakunin. 
The army and the landlords, on the other hand, hoped 
that the Duma would put things right: Russia is chiefly 
agricultural, and if the peasants had been fairly dealt v^ith, 
the Revolution w^ould not have occurred when it did, if 
at all. But a fair deal for the peasants would have required 
a strong Czar, or wise counselors. The aristocrats at Court 
were disgusted with Rasputin, and felt that it was hope- 
less to expect the hen-pecked Emperor to free himself 
from the influences which were bringing the country to 

Yet in Russia individual talent and material circum- 
stances were ready for the hand of a reformer, and might 
have made her prosperous. It is an error to suppose that 
she was industrially backward in 1914: her industries 
were indeed new, and undeveloped, but their equipment 
was more modern than that of France, and better or- 
ganized.* She had a big iron and steel industry. In the 
eighteenth century she produced more metal than France, 
and the steels of the Urals were then among the best in 
the world. In 1870 the annual production of iron ore 
was 312,000 tons; in 1880, 384,000 tons; in 1890, 778,000 
tons; in 1900, 2,630,000 tons; an increase for each decade 
of 23, 103, and 238 per cent respectively. In the next 
decade the production remained stationary, but between 1910 

• Statistics which follow are epitomized from L'U.R.S.S. telle qu'elle est, by ! 
Yvon. Gallimard, Paris, 1938. 


and 1913 the increase was 51 per cent in three years. Nor 
were the rulers of Russia sluggish in promoting education. 
Between 1909 and 1914 the Budget for Public Instruction 
more than doubled itself, from ;^ 17,000,000 to ;/^ 39,000,000. 
There were 8,000,000 children at school in 19 12, and each 
year, under the Czar, a hundred secondary schools were 
opened, accommodating 38,000 pupils. The effort was in- 
sufficient to the need, admittedly, but it was an earnest of 
what might have been done if the Czar had been either a 
good democrat or a good dictator, instead of being only a 
good man. 

# ^ # 

In the billiard-room, near the Czar's study, maps of the 
various fronts in the Great War are laid out, just as the 
Czar left them. In the library are the works of Mrs. Belloc- 
Lowndes, Messrs. E. F. Benson, H. G. Wells, and Bernard 
Shaw. In the Czarina's bedroom the walls are plastered 
with icons and photographs of relations and friends, in- 
cluding one of Rasputin. From the upper story to the 
big drawing-room a slide has been left from the days 
when the girls were children, and the Czarevitch's toy 
motor-car stands in a corner. 

"You will note the number of icons and other evidences 
of superstition in these rooms," said the interpreter, "and 
the bad bourgeois taste of the furniture." 

I duly noted it. 

"The Romanoffs were out of touch with the spirit of the 
age," she continued. 

^ m * 

Out of touch! Well he might be! I remembered that the 
Czar, whatever his defects as a ruler, lacked neither con- 
science nor courage, for he had repeatedly declared that he 
would live and die in Russia. 


The Bolsheviks could find no Russians to murder him, 
so the guard was replaced by one composed of for- 
eigners. The commander, Jurovski, was a watchmaker in 
Tomsk, who had renounced the Jewish religion to become 
a Lutheran. 

At midnight on July i6th-i7th Jurovski went to the 
rooms in which the prisoners slept, and woke them, telling 
them that they were to be moved elsewhere. The Czar car- 
ried the Czarevitch downstairs in his arms. He was followed 
by the Czarina, the four Grand Duchesses, the Court physi- 
cian, three servants, and Anastasia's pet dog, Jimmy. The 
black spaniel, Joy, was left behind in the hurry. They were 
taken to an empty room. The Czarevitch, unable to stand, 
owing to an inflamed knee, sat on the floor. The Czar asked 
for chairs. Three were brought. 

Minutes passed. No one spoke. The little Court knew 
well the weariness of these sudden journeys and long waits, 
but they were spared the knowledge of what was to come. 

Suddenly Jurovski arrived, followed by nine men with 
revolvers. He said to the Czar : "Your friends tried to rescue 
you, but they didn't succeed. Now we must kill you!" The 
Czar did not understand. He had only time to say "What.'^" 
before Jurovski shot him. At the same moment the nine 
other men opened fire on the Empress and the other mem- 
bers of the household. The Czarevitch fell on his face, groan- 
ing. Anastasia shrieked; they finished her off with bayonets, 
and the dog. 

The room was full of the smell of blood and cordite. 
The ten men wrapped up the corpses in sheets, and loaded 
them into a waiting truck, after pocketing some ruby and 
diamond icons, and other jewelry. They drove to a clear- 


ing in a neighboring forest, where, under Jurovski's direc- 
tions, the bodies were stripped, and hacked into convenient 
pieces for burning. Jurovski set the bonfire alight, and 
poured motor oil upon the flames. When all had been 
burned, sulphuric acid was mixed with the ashes. 

But in Russia to-day a sequel to the story passes from lip 
to lip. The Czarevitch, on his way to heaven, remembered 
Joy, and returned to comfort him. He found him outside 
the door, very puzzled and hungry. "We are not dead," he 
said. "The others have gone on a journey, but I will always 
stay here, and walk the Russian earth." 

# # # 

"The Empress was as superstitious as any peasant," the 
interpreter explained. "She ruined Russia with her icons 
and her cult of Rasputin." 

Wr tP ^ 

I went, of course, to several Anti-God Museums. In Lenin- 
grad, in what was once St. Isaac's Cathedral, the chief 
exhibit consists of a Lasalle's pendulum suspended from 
the dome, whose deflection is a proof of the rotation of the 
earth. "This experiment is forbidden in Christian coun- 
tries," our guide told us. He called himself a Professor of 
Comparative Religion. 

"A pendulum like this could not be exhibited in London 
or New York," he continued, "for it would conflict with the 
doctrines of Christianity." 

In St. Isaac's I saw also a photograph of Mr. Ramsay Mac- 
Donald at prayer, the body of a mummified bishop, the 
castration appliances by which the aho voices of a famous 
choir were preserved, pictures of soldiers having their 
weapons blessed, and a jumble of tawdry trivialities. 


At the entrance to St. Basil's in Moscow the following 
aphorisms of Lenin stand in bold type: 




"Our preaching of atheism," said Lenin, "must be co- 
ordinated with our main task, the development of the class- 

"Communists who hinder the broadest development of 
anti-religious propaganda have no place in the ranks of the 
Party," said Stalin. 

"If you are not a convinced atheist, you will not be a 
good Communist, and a faithful citizen of the Communist 
State," writes The League of Communist Youth. "Atheism 
is permanently linked with Communism, and the two ideals 
are the basis of the Soviet power in Communist Russia." 
And so on, ad infinitum. 

A big new short-wave station is to be erected in Moscow 
to broadcast the propaganda of the League of the Militant 
Godless in German, English, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, and 
Czech. A printing-works, employing 6,000 workers, with 
fonts for 13 languages, will also be devoted to the labors 
of this League. At present, Moscow Radios i and 2 send 
out 48 hours a week of propaganda (political as well as 
atheistic) in foreign languages: 7 hours in English, 7 in 
French, 9 in Spanish, 9 in German, 7 in Italian, 3 in Czech, 
3 in Hungarian, and i each in Dutch, Swedish, and 

One thousand six hundred churches in Moscow have 
been closed by the Communists. Last Easter an Archbishop, 


a Bishop, and twenty-live clergy were arrested. No one 
knows what became of them, and the people who are so 
solicitous over the fate of Pastor Niemoller in Germany have 
written no letters to The Times about them; nor have they 
protested about the Chapel of Saint Tycho in Moscow being 
turned into a public lavatory. 

During the first six months of 1938 more than 600 churches 
were closed in Russia. Persecution is not confined to the 
Orthodox Church. In pre-war Russia there were 410 Roman 
Catholic churches, with 8 Bishops and 810 priests: now there 
are 11 churches with 10 priests. 

The ideas of the Bolsheviks on art are very similar to 
their attitude toward religion. Everything is useless which 
is not in the "general line of the Party" — that narrow but 
nebulous path, which so many of the Old-Guard Bolsheviks 
have failed to tread. 

From St. Basil's I went on to pay a visit to the Gallery 
of Western Art, which houses one of the finest collections 
of modern paintings in the world, acquired not by the 
Bolsheviks (to whom, however, credit should be given for 
its preservation) but by two capitalists before the Revo- 
lution. Over the doorway a streamer proclaims in bold 





In the Degas and Manet room I read: "This is the epoch 
of Capitalism growing into Imperialism: 1870." Cezanne 
is described as the artist of the great industrial bourgeoisie. 
Van Gogh "illustrates the psychology of the petty-bourgeois 
under the blight of capitalism." Picasso is labeled as "the 


exponent of the Proletarian Revolt and the Bolshevik tempo 
in industrialization." 

In the last room I observed a questionnaire for visitors, 
v^ith a box into w^hich answ^ers could be put. One of the 
questions w^as: "In what v^ay does Cezanne's art reveal the 
contradictions of Capitalist society?" Another: "Tell us 
what you think of this Gallery as a weapon in the class- 

Always this insistence on class-war! Stalin is quite clear 
on the subject. "The rich experience of history," he said 
to Mr. H. G. Wells, "has taught us Communists that the 
ruling classes will not yield their possessions without a 
struggle. Without getting rid of the capitalist, and abolish- 
ing the principle of private property, it is impossible to 
create a planned economy."* 

# # :if! 

On March 8th, 1917, soldiers began fraternizing with 
the strikers from the Putiloff works in Petrograd. The 
Czar was blind to what was happening. Four days later 
the war-weary troops in the capital revolted, sacked ar- 
senals, opened jails, occupied the Winter Palace and the 
Admiralty. Stalin returned, unnoticed, and almost unknown 
save to his comrades. Lenin arrived three weeks later, with 
that sinister trio, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek, sent to Russia 
by the German High Command, whose spies and paid 
agents they were. 

Kerensky's star, however, was still in the ascendant. In 
July he began his foolish offensive. While he orated, the 
Bolsheviks plotted to overthrow all talkers and theorists. 
They promised action: to the soldiers peace, to the peas- 

* "The Stalin-Wells Talk," published by the New Statesman in 1934. This is a 
shorthand record of the conversation of two highly intelligent men at cross 


ants land, and bread for all. Quickly their influence 

The course of the November coup d'etat was simple, 
and comparatively bloodless. Already in August the Bol- 
sheviks had held a conference, under Stalin's direction, in 
which the Duma was discredited. Parliamentary institutions 
had served their purpose: now the slogan was "All power 
to the Soviets!" Trotsky formed a military revolutionary 
committee to defend Petrograd on October 26th, 1917. On 
November 3rd he demanded that all orders should be coun- 
tersigned by him. On the 5th, while the Duma debated all 
night, he occupied the nerve-centers of the capital — tele- 
graph offices, railway stations, garrisons, banks, treasuries, 
municipal buildings — with special detachments of Commu- 
nists. It is the well-tried technique of revolution, invented 
by Napoleon. 

Lenin came out of hiding on November 6th (he had 
escaped to Finland, against his wish, but at the urgent de- 
sire of the Party, who would not risk losing him in the 
retribution which followed the unsuccessful April rising), 
and soon the administration of the Empire had passed into 
his capable hands. 

On November 7th, 1917, the members of the Provisional 
Government capitulated. They had been besieged in the 
Winter Palace, with the guns of the cruiser Aurora and 
of the Peter and Paul fortress trained on them, and Trotsky 
had summoned them to "a ruthless fight." Had they not 
surrendered they would all have been blown to pieces, to- 
gether with their defenders. They saved their lives for the 
moment, but most of them were liquidated later. 

Then the counter-revolution began. Through those days 
of terror and tragedy, it is the figure of Trotsky that looms 
largest, but Stalin was also active, dogged, capable. His 
burly frame never knew exhaustion. His shrewd, cynical 


eyes noted everything. He went everywhere, restoring mo- 
rale, organizing communications, weeding out shirkers, 
strengthening doubtful groups. Nobody liked him, for he 
was surly and suspicious, but nobody could doubt his capac- 
ity. His chief work was not military, but political. As 
a Georgian, he was well-suited to become the first Com- 
missar of Nationalities, and it was his decree which gave 
nominal freedom and equality to the subject-races of the 
old Empire. 

In 1922, Lenin appointed him General Secretary of the 
Central Committee of the Communist Party, and soon re- 
gretted that he had done so. "This cook," he said, "will 
make too hot a stew." Nor did he leave it at that, for his 
dying wish was that Stalin should not be given too much 

This remarkable testament of Lenin runs as follows, omit- 
ting an unimportant first paragraph: 

Our party is supported by men of two different opinions; its 
break-up is therefore possible, and, if we do not arrive at an under- 
standing between these divergencies, it must almost inevitably suffer 
a setback. If it does suffer a setback, it will be useless to seek remedies, 
or to discuss means of strengthening the Central Committee. In such 
an event, nothing could prevent an eventual break-up. But I hope 
that this contingency is so distant in time, and also so improbable, 
that it is not necessary to discuss it to-day. 

I am thinking to-day of a consolidation as a guarantee against a 
break-up in the near future, and I intend to make here a series of 
personal observations. I think that the original cause of the present 
dangers [this was written in 1922], as well as the key to a new 
consolidation, relates to certain members of the Central Committee, 
such as Stalin and Trotsky. The relations that exist between them 
represent, to my mind, a good half of the danger of a break-up. This 
danger can certainly be avoided, and might more easily be avoided, 
I think, if the number of members of the Central Committee were 
increased from fifty to one hundred. 

Comrade Stalin, who has become Secretary-General, has gathered 
great power into his hands, and I am not at all certain that he will 
always be able to use this power with sufficient circumspection. On 


the other hand, Comrade Trotsky possesses remarkable capacities, as 
he has shown in his fight in the Central Committee on the subject 
of the Commissariat for Road Transport. Personally he is without 
question the most capable member of the present Central Commit- 
tee; however, he has an exaggerated opinion of his capacities, and an 
exaggerated desire to regulate economic life by dictatorial methods. 

The divergencies of opinion between these two chiefs, who are 
the most capable men in the present Central Committee, might lead 
to a break-up of the Party, entirely against their wishes, if our Party 
does not take measures to avoid it; and this break-up might occur in 
an unforeseen way. I do not intend to describe further the other 
members of the Central Committee, or to mention their personal 
qualities. I will mention only that the episodes of October in which 
Zinoviev and Kamenev figured, were obviously not chance events, 
and that no more personal significance should be attached to them 
than to the former non-adhesion to Bolshevism of Trotsky. 

I would like to say a few words about two junior members of the 
Central Committee, Bukharin and Piatakov. They represent, in my 
opinion, the most capable of the newcomers; but, in their regard, the 
following should not be forgotten: Bukharin is not only the most 
valuable and able theorist of the party, but he may also be considered, 
quite frankly, as its favorite. Nevertheless, his theoretical opinions 
must not be considered as entirely Marxist, except with the greatest 
caution, because he has something of the pedant in him, and he has 
never studied dialectic. (Indeed, I think he does not understand it.) 

Piatakov, on the other hand, is undoubtedly a man of talent and 
strong will; but he is far too much attracted to the bureaucratic and 
autocratic aspect of affairs to be reliable on serious political questions. 
Naturally these observations relate only to the present time, and have 
force only if these two talented and honest co-workers of ours do 
not find occasion to extend their knowledge and to remedy their 
narrowness of spirit. 

Postscript. — Stalin is ruthless, and although this defect is bearable 
amongst us Communists it will be absolutely intolerable in the office 
of Secretary-General. This is why I propose to the comrades to find 
a means of removing him from this post, and of giving it to someone 
else who should be different from Stalin in every way: better than 
him in all personal contacts, that is, more patient, more loyal, more 
polite, more attentive to comrades, less fanatical. These things may 
seem unimportant, but with regard to the prevention of a break-up, 
and in the light of what has been said above concerning the relation 
between Stalin and Trotsky, they are not trifles, or at any rate they 
are trifles which may have a decisive importance. 

4 January f 1923, 


Impatient, disloyal, rude, absolutely unsuitable for a posi- 
tion of high command : such was Lenin's verdict on the man 
who rules 170,000,000 people to-day, with a more powerful 
police and a better army than any Czar possessed. 

As soon as Stalin was installed in the Kremlin (Lenin 
died before his intolerable friend could be removed) he 
began to consolidate his power. His methods, Asiatic in 
their subtlety and patience, have left him alone in his glory, 
the most ruthless ruler in history. 

The Left Wing of the Party, led by the Messianic- 
minded Trotsky, and supported by Zinoviev and Kamenev, 
wanted immediate world revolution, immediate collec- 
tivization of the peasants, immediate extermination of the 
\ula\s. The Right Wing, led by Bukharin, Rykov, and 
Tomsky, wanted the farmers "to grow peacefully into 

Stalin dealt with the Right Wing first, and piecemeal. 
He combined with Rykov to eliminate Bukharin, who 
was disgraced, and recanted; was forgiven, but not forgot- 
ten, and was finally liquidated in 1938. Rykov was also 
shot. Tomsky saved Stalin the trouble of a trial by com- 
mitting suicide. 

Trotsky, by far the most dangerous rival, behaved like 
a spoilt child by refusing to attend Lenin's funeral. Stalin 
elbowed him out of power, craftily, inexorably, until in 
1925 he was strong enough to exile him. Zinoviev and 
Kamenev were disgraced soon afterwards, recanted like the 
Right-Wing stalwarts, and like them were forgiven, but 
not forgotten, and were executed in 1937. 

The turn of the peasants came in 1932, when they re- 
fused to be collectivized. Stalin sent his agents to col- 
lect their crops. Five millions died of famine next year. 
Perhaps six millions. The exact number will never be 


I once visited the Mahout of a Sikh temple, who had 
planned the murder of a hundred people. He arranged 
for professional assassins to shoot his victims down, petrol 
to pour on their bodies, etc. All went according to plan 
except that he only bagged forty. He was well defended 
at his trial, when his advocate claimed that he had not 
planned m^urder, but only the protection of his temple 
and his religious beliefs. I found him an agreeable gentle- 
mannered person; and he was not hung. So Stalin, when 
accused of having caused the death of between seven and 
twelve million persons, can say that he acted with the best 
intentions and highest ideals. His victims died that Com- 
munism might live. 

As to the world revolution, it remains in the womb of 
time. First-hand information on Stalin's views in this con- 
nection can be obtained from a preface which he wrote to 
his speeches in 1924, at the height of his controversy with 
Trotsky.* After discussing the October Revolution, which 
he admits was accomplished without a proletarian major- 
ity behind the Communists (that is, presumably against the 
wishes of the people), he gives the following reasons for its 

(a) The exhaustion created by the Great War. 

(b) "The powerful slogan of Peace." 

(c) The active sympathy of Communists outside Russia. 

He continues: "A weak point, however, was that the 
October Revolution had no neighboring Soviet State on 
which to lean. It is certain that the future revolution in 
Germany will find itself, in this respect, in a better posi- 
tion owing to the presence of a State as powerful as our 
Soviet Russia." 

* La Revolution d'Octobre et la tactique des communistes russes, by J. Stalin. 
Bureau d 'Editions, Paris, 1936. 


The remainder of this preface is taken up with a dis- 
cussion of Trotsky's theory that Communism can only suc- 
ceed by means of a "permanent world revolution," as 
against Lenin's directive of "Socialism in one country." 
The fine points of the argument are now academic, for 
the two men want the same thing, although they hope to 
achieve it by different means: Trotsky wants immediate 
action, whereas Stalin is working through the League of 
Nations, Popular Fronts, Peace Societies, etc., to bring 
about the collapse of capitalism they both desire. Commu- 
nism has not changed from the objectives indicated by 
Marx. It is merely tacking against the breeze raised by 
its opponents and trying to approach its goal obliquely. 
Nothing could be clearer or more convincing than the fol- 
lowing statements of Lenin, quoted with approval by his 

The dictatorship of the proletariat, if one translates into simpler 
language this scientific Latin historico-philosophical expression, 
means this: only a certain class, namely, urban workers, and, in gen- 
eral, industrial workers in factories, is capable of directing the whole 
mass of workers and exploited people in the fight for the overthrow 
of the capitalistic yoke, in the fight to preserve and consolidate the 
victory, and in the work of founding the new Socialistic regime. 

The victory of Socialism is possible at first in a small number of 
capitalist countries, or even in one capitalist country alone. The vic- 
torious proletariat of this country, after having expropriated the 
capitalists, and organized its internal Socialist production, will attack 
the rest of the capitalist world, drawing to itself the oppressed classes 
of other countries, urging them to rise against the capitalists, even 
employing, if necessary, armed force against the exploiting classes and 
their countries. The free union of nations under Socialism is impos- 
sible without an obstinate struggle, of uncertain duration, between 
Socialist Republics and backward nations. 

Last year M. Stalin wrote to a certain Ivanov, a Young 
Communist, who had been accused of Trotskyism for say- 
ing that "Communism cannot be considered to be definitely 


established as long as the Soviet Union is surrounded by 
hostile capitalist countries." 

M. Stalin agreed with Ivanov, whom he absolved from 
fault. Trotsky's heresy, said Stalin, was to hold that Social- 
ism could not be set up in Russia before it was established 
in the whole world. But Socialism has been established in 
Russia. Now there is the further question: Can it be main- 
tained and made secure? Only, says Stalin, ''by uniting the 
efforts of the world-wide proletariat to those of our own 
people. Mutual assistance must be organized to combat 

The Temps of Paris published a leading article point- 
ing out the association between M. Stalin's policy and the 
Popular Front in France.* In England the correspondence 
with young Ivanov passed almost unnoticed, although it was 
reported in full in the newspapers of Germany, Italy, and 

# # 

In preparation for world revolution, whose most suit- 
able prelude would be a world war, Lenin instituted the 
Third (Communist) International, generally known as the 
Comintern, in the spring of 1918. A group of foreign Com- 
munists had assembled in Moscow early that year. Lenin 
appointed an eloquent young firebrand, Zinoviev-Apfel- 
baum, to organize them into the advance-guard of the revo- 
lutionary workers of the world. 

Sir Paul Dukes was present at the first meeting of the 
Comintern, in Petrograd in March, 191 8.t He describes 
the speakers shivering on a tribune in their fur-coats, their 
faces blue with cold, saying the same things over and over 
again, punctuated by the strains of the "Internationale" and 

* Russia's Wor\ in France, by R. J. Dingle. Hale, 1938. 
t The Story of S.T. 25, by Sir Paul Dukes. Cassell, 1938. 


cries of "Down with the bourgeoisie!" . . . Those were the 
evangelical days of Communism,'^ when the oppressed peo- 
ples of the earth, and many cranks, looked toward Moscow 
to shatter our "sorry scheme of things," and rebuild it nearer 
to the heart's desire of the incapable. 

But the rulers of Russia were not incapables, and had little 
interest in the species. In 1921, when Communism had 
already brought Russia near collapse, and the sailors in 
Kronstadt had revolted, Lenin returned to the capitalist 
system, which he called the New Economic Policy. The 
sailors were shot, but the principle of private trading was 

The Comintern, however, continued its propaganda with 
ever-increasing funds. Schools for international revolution 
are flourishing to-day in Moscow and in Tashkent. In the 
latter, Indian students have employed their time to such 
good purpose that Bengal and the United Provinces are 
now seething with unrest. 

Communist intrigue throughout the world is matter of 
history. Here only the main facts are set down, in an effort 
to represent their results in terms of human life. If the list 
is wearisome to the eye and mind, the reader should reflect 
how much more tedious these incidents were for the indi- 
viduals and nations concerned: 

In 1918 some 6,000 persons were murdered in Finland, 
or fell in the struggle against Communism. In Esthonia, 
Communists shot 3,000 small shop-keepers and traders be- 
cause they were "capitalists." In Germany and Austria there 
were several risings inspired by Communists. 

In 1919 a reign of terror was established in Budapest 

* Zinoviev was then a lanky youth with burning eyes and a real gift of oratory; 
but he soon grew fat, and was eventually shot as a "filthy traitor." It is said that 
at the time of his death there were 10,000,000 francs (say, jT 100,000) to his 
credit in a Paris bank. 


by the Communist agitator Bela Kun, which will long live 
in the memory of Hungarians. In Munich a Soviet was 
established, whose members murdered the hostages they 
had captured, robbing them and mutilating their bodies. 
In Berlin, Dr. Oscar Cohen admitted that he had received 
4,000,000 roubles (say ;/^8oo,ooo) from the Soviet Ambas- 
sador, the late M. Joffe, for the purpose of fostering world 

In 1920 the Bolsheviks invaded Poland, and were defeated 
at Warsaw. In Italy, Communism grew in power from 1920 
to 1922, and led to the reaction which culminated in Mus- 
solini's march on Rome in 1922. 

In 1923 there were Communist risings in Germany and 
Bulgaria. Bela Kun, who had escaped from Budapest after 
his four months' rule in 1919, was sent by his Moscow 
masters to the Crimea, where he liquidated 70,000 people 
with machine-guns. 

In 1926 a General Strike broke out in England, encour- 
aged by Moscow. It was ended by the common sense of 
all classes. In China 186,000 people fell victims to Red ter- 
rorism, which had begun the previous year. 

In 1927 a Soviet commercial company in London, "Arcos," 
was raided. Strike orders for English workers were discov- 
ered, but the documents were somewhat inconclusive. Com- 
munist riots in Vienna resulted in many deaths and injuries. 
In Boston, two Communist murderers, Sacco and Vanzetti, 
were hung amid protests from sympathizers throughout 
the world. 

In 1928 many Communist disturbances occurred in South 
America. Between 1927 and 1929 20,000 people were 
murdered in Mexico as a direct result of Communist 

In 1929 fierce street fighting occurred in various parts 


of Germany, where Communism grew apace, with even 
worse results than in Italy. Berlin was a sink of in- 
iquity: German Communist writings of the time prove 
that the disintegration of youth was one of the means 
by which it was hoped to produce a revolutionary 

In 193 1 the King of Spain was driven from his throne, 
and Communists began a systematic preparation for the 
civil war which broke out in 1934, and again in 1936. In 
Sweden small but sanguinary conflicts occurred between 
Communists and police. 

In 1933 the Reichstag in Berlin was burned down, soon 
after Hitler's accession to power, by a half-witted youth 
who confessed to the crime, and who had belonged to the 
Dutch Communist Party. 

In 1934 bloody fighting broke out in North Spain, which 
resulted in more than 4,000 casualties. There was street- 
fighting in Paris, led by Communists, mass strikes in San 
Francisco, a revolt in Vienna, in which 260 persons were 
killed and 2,500 wounded, and a Communist revolt in 

In 1935 there were peasant revolts in Lithuania inspired 
by Communists, and a revolt in Brazil in which 150 people 
were killed and 400 injured. 

In 1936 the Civil War broke out in Spain. From that date 
to the present day the international tension in Europe is 
too recent to need recapitulation. 

But in addition to these large-scale maneuvers the Comin- 
tern has instigated abroad a number of murders and out- 
rages (chiefly against its own subjects, it is true) which turn 
a searchlight on its methods. For instance: 

Kalinitkov, an anti-Bolshevik writer, was murdered at 
Sofia on July 24th, 1924. 

• Sec page 142. 


Kosta Georgiev, a Bulgarian General, was murdered at 
Sofia on April 14th, 1925. 

The Cathedral at Sofia was blown up by Communists on 
April i6th, 1925. Two hundred and ten people were killed 
and 600 wounded. It has been said that Gregori Dimitrov, 
the present head of the Communist International, instigated 
this outrage, but the charge is not proven, although he was 
active in Bulgaria at the time. 

Petlioura, a Ukrainian chieftain, was murdered in Paris 
on May 25th, 1926, by a Soviet agent, Schwartzbart, who 
is now back in the U.S.S.R. 

Joseph Traikovich, a Polish citizen, was drawn into a 
trap at the Soviet Legation at Warsaw and murdered on 
September 2nd, 1927. 

Kritorov, a former Staff officer of General Sakarov, was 
drawn into a trap in a Soviet Consulate in North China and 
murdered in March, 1928. 

Koutiepov, a Russian General, was kidnaped in Paris 
on January 26th, 1930. The G.P.U. has been freely accused 
of this crime, but the French police have never been able to 
discover the culprits. The General was chief of the White 
Russian emigres in Paris. According to the confession of 
Andrei Fikner, former secretary of the Soviet Embassy in 
Berlin, who has since disappeared, leaving no trace of his 
whereabouts, he (Fikner) was head of the G.P.U. squad 
which seized the General in a busy street of Paris and car- 
ried him to a waiting car. Koutiepov struggled; he was 
given an anesthetic to quiet him, and the drug killed him. 
His body was taken to the Soviet Embassy in Paris and 
dismembered. The pieces were put into small coffins and 
taken to the cemetery for dogs in Asnieres. The head was 
carried there in a somewhat larger coffin, and a woman, 
playing the role of owner, arrived at Asnieres with a wreath 
and a card for "Toto cheri!" Whatever the truth about his 


fate, General Koutiepov has never been heard of since 
his disappearance, and it is presumed that he has been 

Ramichvihj a former Home Minister of Georgia, was 
murdered by Russians in Paris on December 7th, 1930. 

Jean Pommer, Orthodox Archbishop at Riga, was mur- 
dered by the G.P.U. on October 12th, 1934. 

Andres Nin, a Spanish anarchist leader, was kidnaped 
by G.P.U. agents at Barcelona in August, 1937. He has dis- 
appeared since then, and has probably been murdered. 

Ignace Reiss, former agent of the G.P.U., was murdered 
near Lausanne in September, 1937, having been enticed 
thither by a Communist girl spy. 

General Miller, a White Russian, was kidnaped in Paris 
on September 29th, 1937, it is said by G.P.U. agents. He is 
said to have been lured into a house adjacent to the Soviet 
Embassy. Since his disappearance efforts to trace him have 
proved unavailing and it is presumed that he has been 

Erwin Wolff, Trotsky's secretary, was kidnaped in 
Barcelona on October 13th, 1937, by G.P.U. agents. He 
has disappeared since then, and has probably been 

Marc Rhein, who wrote a report on labor camps in the 
U.S.S.R., was kidnaped by G.P.U. agents in November, 
1937, at Barcelona. He has disappeared since then, and 
has probably been murdered. 

Bernini, a former Communist Professor, was kidnaped 
in November, 1937, by persons unknown while staying in 
the South of France. He has disappeared since then, and 
has probably been murdered. 

Tamara Solonievich and her secretary, Mikhailov, were 
killed at Sofia by the explosion of a bomb sent by post 
from Russia on February 3rd, 1938. 


Among Russian diplomatic agents abroad, a large num- 
ber have suffered for the greater glory of the Comintern. 
In England, for instance, M. Rakovsky and Colonel Putna 
were recalled to Moscow and shot; Captain Tchikounsky, 
naval attache, Lieutenant Sivkov, naval attache, and Cap- 
tain Tchorny, air attache, were recalled to Moscow and 
have disappeared. A former Ambassador, M. Sokolnikov, has 
been sentenced to ten years' penal servitude. 

In Poland the following gentlemen disappeared from 
the Embassy: Davtian, Alexandrov, Postnikov, Bara- 
banov, Vinogradov. Their whereabouts are now un- 

In Germany the following casualties occurred at the Soviet 
Embassy: MM. Krestinsky (shot), Youreniev (recalled to 
Moscow and disappeared), Nepomniachtchy (recalled to 
Moscow and sent to Siberia). 

In Spain the Ambassador, M. Rosenberg, was recalled 
to Moscow and arrested. M. Antonovsesnko was re- 
called to Moscow and shot, and M. Kogan was sum- 
moned to return to Moscow, but preferred to commit suicide 
at once. 

In Esthonia, M. Oustinov died mysteriously, M. Petrovsky 
disappeared, and M. Stark was recalled to Moscow and 

In Latvia, M. Brodovsky was recalled to Moscow and 
shot; M. Pokhvalinsky was recalled and disappeared. 

In Lithuania, M. Podolsky was recalled and shot. 

In Finland, M. Ivanov was arrested and disappeared, M. 
Asmus was recalled to Moscow and shot, M. Briskine was 
recalled and disappeared. 

In Italy, M. Levine was recalled and died mysteriously. 

In Belgium, M. Rubinine was recalled and disappeared. 

In Hungary, M. Beksadian was recalled and shot. 

In Greece, M. Kobetzky was recalled and died mysteri- 
ously. M. Barmine escaped to avoid arrest, and wrote a re- 


markable series of articles for the New Yor\ Times on 
December 23rd, 25th, and 29th, 1937. 

In Turkey, M. Karsky was recalled and disappeared, and 
M. Karakhan was recalled and shot. 

In China, M. Bogomolov was recalled and disappeared. 

In Japan, M. Rink was recalled and shot. 

In Czecho-Slovakia, M. Aronsef and his wife were recalled 
and both shot. 

In France, now the headquarters of the Western Branch 
of the Communist International, the mortality has been 
particularly heavy. Among diplomatic representatives, the 
following are casualties: General Seminionov, military 
attache (shot), MM. Chliapnikov (exiled), Rakovsky 
(arrested, now dead), Davtian (arrested), Nachatiri 
(exiled), Arens (arrested), Tchlenov (arrested), Lachke- 
vich (arrested), Neumann (arrested), Rosenberg (arrested), 
Loukianov (arrested), Raikevski (arrested), Victor Kin 

Of members of the Committee of Debts the following 
were shot: MM. Preobrajensky, Reingold, and Navachine. 

Trade agents in various capitals have also suffered heavily : 
among those shot have been MM. Mdivani and Piatakov. 
Other casualties include MM. Lomovsky (exiled), Tou- 
manov (disappeared), Lomov (arrested), Kossior (exiled), 
Gourevich (disappeared), Ostrovsky (arrested), Mouradian 
(arrested), Slivkine (arrested), Moskalev (arrested). Papa- 
nine (arrested), Goikberg (arrested), Satulovsky (ar- 
rested), Mejlaouk (arrested). 

Of the victims inside Russia, no foreigner can keep count. 
Zinoviev, Kamenev, Smirnov, Bukharin, Rykov, Tomsky, 
Piatakov, Yagoda, Tukachevsky, are some well-known 
names, but all the active leaders of the Revolution have 
been liquidated. 

When Lenin was buried on January 27th, 1924, the 


guard of honor standing by his hearse was changed every 
ten minutes. Little did those mourners anticipate their 
fates ! 

The first guard consisted of Stalin and Kalinin, who 
are living, and Zinoviev and Kamenev, who have both 
been shot. 

The second guard consisted of Molotov, who is living, 
Bukharin and Rykov, who were shot, and Tomsky, who 
committed suicide to escape the Ogpu. 

The third guard consisted of Djerjinsky and Chicherin, 
who both died, Petrovsky, who has disappeared, and Sokol- 
nikov, who is in prison. 

The fourth guard consisted of Kourbaetcheff and Orjoni- 
kidze, who died, and Piatakov and Jenekidze, who were 
both shot. 

Out of sixteen Heroes of the Revolution, only three are 
living in freedom; six have been shot as traitors, and one 
has been "suicided," four are dead, one a convict, and the 
fate of one is doubtful. 

A notable feature of these purges is the uncertainty that 
so often shrouds the fate of distinguished Bolsheviks. The 
more eminent the victim, the more misty his end. For in- 
stance, no one knew what had happened to Admiral Orloff, 
the Commander-in-Chief of the Red Navy, until Marshal 
Voroshilov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army, 
mentioned in a speech that he had been "wiped off the face 
of the earth as a traitor and a spy." 

Another extraordinary episode, which reveals the cat-like 
methods of M. Stalin, is the decline and fall of Yagoda, the 
ex-chemist's assistant, who rose to be chief of the G.P.U. and 
who tracked down the alleged accomplices of the murderer 
of Kirov. 

After Yagoda had executed fourteen persons for this mur- 
der — committed by one man, Leonide Nicolaev — he arrested 


sixteen others, of whom the most important were Zinoviev 
and Kamenev. For eighteen months he interrogated them 
in the Loubianka Prison, bringing them to pubUc trial only 
in August, 1936. 

Whether or not Zinoviev and Kamenev had been prom- 
ised their lives if they "confessed" will never be known. 
Their hair had turned white, and they were almost un- 
recognizable when they appeared before their judges. In 
court they acknowledged that they had indeed plotted to 
assassinate Stalin, Kirov, and Voroshilov and to commit 
other crimes. The sixteen were shot on August 25th, 1936, 
the date when the Revolution began to eat its own children 
in earnest. 

Now comes the strangest part of the story. Within a 
month of this execution, out of a seemingly clear sky, the 
lightning fell on Yagoda himself. On September 27th he 
was deprived of his functions and given a minor office. 
In April, 1937, he was arrested. In March, 1938, after a 
year in the Loubianka tasting his own medicine, he was 
tried on various charges of treason and conspiracy, includ- 
ing complicity in the murder of Kirov! One of the minor 
charges was that he had poisoned Maxim Gorki and his 
son. When he denied this, the public prosecutor, Vichinsky, 
was roused to fury."^ 

Vichinsky: "Why did you admit this in your previous 

Yagoda: "I was lying then, and I beg you. Comrade 
Procurator, not to ask me for my reasons." 

Sensation. Sitting suspended. Next day Vichinsky asked 
Yagoda the same question. Accused did not reply at first, 
but at last, very slowly, he admitted his guilt. There was 
discreet laughter in court. 

Yagoda admitted that he poisoned Gorki's son, not for 

• Summarized from Les Maitres de la Tche\a, by Roman Goul. Editions de 
France, 1938. 


political reasons, but because the latter's wife was one of 
his mistresses. Two doctors confirmed this story. The chief 
physician of the Kremlin Hospital, Dr. Levine, said that 
he was sixty-eight and did not care for his own life, but 
that Yagoda threatened the lives of his wife and children 
if his orders were disobeyed. Dr. Kasakov gave details of the 
laboratories in the G.P.U. headquarters, where Yagoda used 
to prepare his poisons and carry out his experiments upon 

Yagoda, like the majority of the Bolsheviks at bay, ended 
with an abject plea for mercy. "I do not minimize the 
gravity of my crimes," he cried. "I am guilty of every 
count in my accusation. But Soviet law is not founded 
on vengeance, and I implore pardon. I ask you, my judges, 
and I ask you, Comrade Stalin, to pardon me if you 

The late Chief of the Secret Police must have been 
shaken indeed to thus waste his breath! On the night of 
March 15th he was put against the bloodstained wall 
in the Loubianka, where he had watched so many 
"enemies of the Proletariat and Fascist reptiles" meet their 
doom. . . . 

And this is the city of which Mr. Gunther wrote (in 1935, 
it is true, but the phrase remains unaltered in the 1937 
edition of his brilliant book) that "Moscow was the most 
refreshing city on the Continent";* and in which M. Thorez, 
the leader of the French Communists, recently extolled "the 
victorious building of Socialism, the miracles of industrial- 
ism and collectivization, the well-being, the cultural blos- 
soming of a free people.f Glory to the Bolshevik Party!" 
he concluded. "Glory to Lenin, who led the working class 
to power over one-sixth of the world! Glory to Stalin, our 

* Inside Europe, by John Gunther. Harper & Brothers. 

t Report of the Seventh Communist International, held in Moscow in August, 


beloved leader, whose genius has solved the problem of 
Socialism in the U.S.S.R. and v^ho is leading the industrial 
Proletariat to victory!" 

# # # 

The Rykov, in v^^hich I sailed to Russia,* vs^as due to leave 
London Bridge at midnight, but before retiring v^e learned 
that the crev^ had just discovered that the engine v^as not 
in v^orking order. 

I looked dov^n a hatchv^ay at 2 a.m. and saw gloomy 
comrades in the bowels of the ship, smoking cigarettes over 
a stripped cylinder-head. At noon next day we dropped 
down river with the tide. But the engine was not yet right. 
Any fool could hear that she was missing. Sure enough 
she broke down again at Greenwich, and again at Grave- 
send, and again in the Kiel Canal, so that we arrived in 
Leningrad thirty-six hours late. 

Nor was this an exceptional occurrence, for a passenger 
informed me that on the return journey the Rykpv's en- 
gines collapsed for the usual twenty-four hours. Yet in 
the "Lenin corner" of the Rykov, where the Pagod of 
the Proletariat was enshrined in red bunting, there was a 
graph showing that during the last eight months this 
ship had rarely fallen below 5 per cent of her maximum 

On the Martina, a Volga steamer, the engines seemed to 
be more or less efficient, but we started six hours late in 
Gorki and arrived thirty-six hours late in Stalingrad. The 
Responsible Worker in charge of the bathroom water sup- 
ply rarely remembered to turn it on. The decks were never 
scrubbed. Brasswork was unpolished. Hawsers were not 
flaked down. Litter was lying everywhere. I washed in a 
cracked basin from a leaky tap. The sanitary arrangements 

•I am indebted to the editor of the Spectator for permission to use certain 
passages from articles I wrote for that journal. 


reeked to heaven. The Soviet Government has liquidated 
many things, but not its lavatories. 

I would not mention such details if they were not symp- 
tomatic of much else. But they are symptomatic. Can people 
who cannot remember to pull a plug build up a great in- 
dustrial nation? It is at least open to doubt. 

I wish that a British working man could have stood with 
me on the deck of the Martina as the ship berthed at Samara 
pier. ... At the quayside the Proletariat crouched amid 
its enormous bundles of personal property. Every day it was 
told by loud-speakers, banner slogans, wall newspapers, 
Young Communists, Red Guards, that it was the ruler of 
the country. The bourgeoisie is dead! Long live the Prole- 

Now see the Responsible Workers putting out a gang- 
way. A struggle begins for first place on board. The Pro- 
letariat must have its ticket, else it is pushed aside in Russia 
as ruthlessly as in less paradisaical lands. It fights its way 
forward, carrying feather beds, sacks of melons, baskets, 
boxes, babies on its strong back. On the lower deck it is 
packed and pressed down like the black caviar of As- 
trakhan. We, together with the most responsible of the 
Responsible Workers — foremen, engineers, technicians, all 
the aristocrats of Communism — look down on the Toiling 
Masses from the first-class. There are six classes — two firsts, 
two seconds, a third, and a fourth. 

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity! Is it for this that a mil- 
lion Russians have suffered "the supreme measure of social 
defense" ? 

In Autostroy, at Gorki,* 60,000 Ford cars should have 

* So the Bolsheviks have renamed the fascinating city of Nijni-Novgorod, vi^herc 
the biggest fair in the w^orld was held each spring in the days when Russians had 
property to sell. 


been produced in 1932, the output rising rapidly to 400,000 
cars a year in 1936. At the time of my visit not one car 
that ran satisfactorily had come off the production line. 
By the end of the year the manager asserted that 7,500 
had been made, but the claim was doubtful, and later on 
the manager was shot. In 1935 the output was said to be 
63,000. In 1936, instead of the 400,000 cars planned, it was 
claimed that 90,000 were produced. Reliable informants, 
however, have told me that the early Russian Fords fell to 
pieces if driven over thirty miles an hour. To-day things 
are only slightly better. There is a 42 horse-power limousine, 
known as the M-i, which would be dear at ;C200 in Eng- 
land, and which costs the equivalent of ;^2,ooo, and a 
luxury saloon, the ZIZioi, which only superplanners can 
afford. Production still moves with laggard feet, for reasons 
which are obvious to anyone who has ever seen a Commu- 
nist factory at work. 

When people tell me that the Bolsheviks will have 20,000 
airplanes by 1940 — or is it 40,000? — I remember my ex- 
periences at Autostroy. The foundry there reminds me of 
something out of the Russian ballet. Glowing ore is sway- 
ing overhead upon conveyors. A girl like a goddess oper- 
ates a trip hammer. Three men, stripped to the waist, seize 
a lump of metal with titanic pincers and crash it down 
upon a pedestal. It is magnificent, and it would be the 
Five- Year Plan if anything commensurate with such efforts 
came off in the production line. 

Here is a molder at work on a cylinder-casting. He has 
made six cores in sand : it is a very delicate job, which would 
take even the most skilled worker the best part of a morn- 
ing. An expert in our party gauges it, and discovers that it 
is a quarter of an inch out of truth. 

A quarter of an inch! Furious, the foreman (a Russian 
trained in America) thrusts his fist through the mold and 


smashes it. From the matter-of-fact way in which the 
molder regards this destruction of his labor it would seem 
to be a common occurrence. 

In the tool-testing room one of the girls is idly twisting 
the screw of her micrometer gauge. "Treated like that," says 
our expert, "it will last about a week." Her pay is 450 roubles 
a month. 

In the next shed there is a caricature poster, evidently in 
criticism of an unpopular foreman. "This is the man," the 
inscription runs, "who does not encourage the young steel 
wor\ers to attend evening classes in rhetoric, and who does 
not attend them himself l" 

Who would be so hard-hearted as to discourage the steel- 
workers from attending evening classes ? After all, a knowl- 
edge of rhetoric will be much more useful to them than 
skill at bench and lathe. (Often since, when reading of 
Russia's industrial troubles, I have thought of these young 

There are plenty of policemen in Autostroy: one in 
every shed, in fact, with a revolver in his holster. The 
general effect of these armed comrades is daunting to a 
British visitor: he cannot feel that such a factory is a workers' 
paradise; and he remembers, moreover, that here in the 
apotheosis of the Socialist State there is piece-work and 
speeding-up carried to limits which no capitalist employer 
could possibly adopt where labor is free. Alexei Stakhanov, 
the thirty-year-old miner from the Urals, has become a hero 
for his "Socialist emulation" by working fifteen times the 
normal pace! 

4fs * # 

One day I visited a Maternal Welfare Center. In the first 
consulting room I entered I noticed a stain of fresh blood 
on the table, a rag in a corner, and a leaking tap. In the 
corridor I encountered an expectant mother, with a beaker 


of urine in her hand, uncovered. She was wandering about, 
trying to discover where the analyst worked. Yet I had been 
asked to put on a white coat, lest I should bring impurities 
to those spotless precincts! 

At an official luncheon, part of which was served on the 
late Czar's gold plate, I sat next to a novelist who shall be 

He said, wittily, I thought: "Whatever happens, Com- 
munism will benefit the world. If the system succeeds 
here, you will be able to adopt it without the necessity for 
the unpleasantness which we have had to show towards 
the possessing classes. On the other hand" — here he low- 
ered his voice — "if we fail, you will be warned by us in 

I asked my friend his name. As I was not able to spell 
it, I suggested that he should write it down, and produced 
a pencil and notebook. He refused, turning white with 
fright. "If your notes are seen by the Secret Police," he 
explained, "as they probably will be, and my name was 
discovered, I should be shot." 

What nonsense, I thought! To-day I am wiser. The in- 
cident made me uncomfortable, and I was still more un- 
comfortable when from this luncheon, replete with caviar, 
and sturgeon, and champagne, and expensive fruits, I went 
to the Sukharevsky market, where the Government then 
allowed the small farmer and trader to sell their wares. 
The contrast between these semi-starved people and my 
own condition was shocking. 

To calculate the cost of living in Russia is not easy, for 
the rouble has a varying purchasing power in open shops, 
cooperatives, and so on. (In London or Paris it is worth 
lYzd. to-day, if buyers can be found.) The only sound com- 
parison possible is to translate goods into hours of labor. 
According to recent Soviet statistics the average wage of a 
Russiart worker is 225 roubles a month (the real average 


is said to be 180 roubles a month). Moscow prices at pres- 
ent are: 

Rye bread: i rouble a kilo (2^4 lbs.) — more than an hour's work; 
that is, three times the cost of bread to an Englishman earning 
;^3 I OS. a week. 

Carrots: i rouble 60 kopeks a kilo. 

Potatoes: i rouble 75 kopeks a kilo — say, two hours' work. 

Meat: 10 to 12 roubles a kilo — say, one and a half days' work. 

Butter: 18 roubles a kilo — nearly three days' work. 

A shirt: 50 roubles — nearly a week's work, i.e., £^ los. to an Eng- 

A pair of boots: 250 roubles — more than a month's work, say, £1^- 

A cotton dress: 300 roubles. 

A suit of inferior quality: 300 roubles, of better quality 500 roubles. 

An overcoat: 600 roubles — say, ;^35. 

Clerical workers are better paid, and often earn 600 roubles 
a month, while a successful actor or a popular author (who 
are on dizzy but dangerous heights) may receive 1,000 or 
even 10,000 roubles a month. Even so, there is little that 
money can buy. Certainly not security. Security no one has 
in Soviet Russia. 

I lunched with M. and Mme. Sokolnikov in Moscow. 
He had been Ambassador in London, and was reported to 
have the best financial brain among the Bolsheviks: a 
nervous, weary-eyed little man, I found him, with a very 
pleasant voice. His wife spoke so bitterly of England that 
she startled me: an incalculable creature, I thought, and 
so she turned out to be, betraying her husband when she 
herself fell into the clutches of the G.P.U. (But perhaps I 
do her an injustice: people cannot be blamed for what 
they say in the Loubianka.) 

In Geneva I also met Lunacharsky, full of bonhomie and 
guile: a gay little man, but with less real capacity than 
Sokolnikov. I also met Karl Radek, the clever leader-writer 
on Prat/da, and took an instant dislike to him. When his 
day of reckoning came, he was described, in his own news- 


paper, as "that obscene serpent, who smiles only to reveal 
his poisoned fangs." 

De mortuis is a good motto for normal times, but we can- 
not understand what is happening in Russia to-day without 
considering what manner of men have been in charge of 
her destinies. 

There is no doubt at all that sabotage and wrecking on a 
large scale has been in progress for years, and is even now 
continuing. All the old Bolsheviks, beginning with Marx, 
abused the hospitality of every land that gave them refuge. 
They were always ready to sell their country, or any other, 
in order to promote world revolution. 

Marx, when living in England, said that any revolution 
that did not spread to England was a storm in a teacup. 
Lenin, in Russia, preached to the Russian peasants and 
soldiers during the Great War that they had to work for 
the defeat of their country; and he continued to say the 
same under the Socialist Government of Kerensky. (No 
question then of a Popular Front!) Trotsky signed away 
large parts of his native land under the Treaty of Brest- 
Litovsk. Tukachevsky, the late Chief of the Soviet General 
Staff, when he was prisoner of war in Germany, gave his 
word of honor not to escape, and promptly did so, to join 
Lenin. It is not surprising that such men should have con- 
tinued the principles of the Early Marxist Fathers under 
the reign of Stalin. 

What of the future? According to M. Jean Fontenoy,* 
a young French journalist who speaks Russian like a Rus- 
sian, a state of civil war exists along the whole Soviet fron- 
tier from the Baltic to the Black Sea: a war between peas- 
ants and workers trying to escape from the U.S.S.R., and 
G.P.U. troops who shoot them down. Whole tribes have 
been moved from Bessarabia to Siberia. Opposite Poland 

* Frontiere Rouge — Frontiere d'Enfer, by Jean Fontenoy. Editions Populaires 
Frangaises, Paris, 1938. See also p. 181. 


400,000 villagers have been deported. The total of those 
removed from the frontier regions is about a million. A 
belt forty miles v^ide and 1,800 miles long, from the north 
Finnish border to v^here Poland meets Rumania, is a mili- 
tary zone of barbed v^ire, forts, and special troops. Very few 
outsiders can penetrate to the villages, but those who do, 
like M. Fontenoy, bring back terrible stories of hunger and 

A few years ago it was the fashion to say that Stalin 
was trying to bring Russia back into the comity of 
capitalist nations. It was pointed out that anyone in 
Moscow who dared to advocate the original doctrines of 
Marx would be shot. Lenin's works have been expur- 
gated. Even Stalin's own early books are withdrawn from 
circulation. Private property is reestablished by law in 
the Soviet Union, and an elaborate facade of democracy 
has been set up in the new Constitution. Divorce is again 
discouraged, and abortion is forbidden. Once more chil- 
dren are commanded to honor their father and their 
mother, instead of spying on them, as Lenin taught. It 
would seem, on the surface, that the old ideas are in the 

But has Stalin changed his skin? I do not believe it for 
a moment; and, what is more important, the neighbors 
of Russia do not believe it either. Stalin is well aware 
that he has no chance of influencing the Poles, Ru- 
manians, or the Baltic States, but he hopes to be able to 
undermine the more distant democracies from within, by 
adopting their formulae and methods. At heart, however, 
he remains a Marxian materialist, the faithful follower of 

No Communist, past or present, can depart very far 
from the early doctrine in theory, whatever he may do 
in practice. Russians are theoreticians, chess-players, 


dreamers, dramatists, and a system which involves 
grandiose graphs and night-long discussions of a philosophic 
attitude suits their temper admirably. The U.S.S.R. is a 
paradise for planners. Even if only a mouse of achieve- 
ment comes out of a mountain of discussion, they are con- 
tent, provided that the mountain satisfies their sense of 
theater. In no other country could a Kaganovitch w^rite: 
"The v^orkers judge the Soviets not only by their general 
political policy, but also by the practical results of their 

A people that produced Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov, 
Pushkin, Lermontov, Dostoevski in letters, Rimski- 
Korsakov and Tchaikovsky in music, and scientists such as 
Mendeliev, Metchnikov, Petrov, and Pavlov, is certainly fit 
for a high destiny. But Communism has found the v^eak 
joint in the psychological armor of the Slav: its tendency to 
prefer abstractions to actualities. 

For those who can afford a mind, such as governors of 
districts, managers of factories, presidents of collective 
farms, and other bureaucratic chiefs, the U.S.S.R. pro- 
vides glorious opportunities: no wonder they remain, like 
hypnotized hens, with beaks on the "party line." But the 
workers are suffering under a social pressure unknown in 
countries where the Machine has not taken the place of 
God; so the machine is sabotaged, and industry is running 

No one can say exactly what will happen when the col- 
lapse occurs, nor when it will occur. In the Ukraine, the 
richest province of Russia, there are 35,000,000 people, of 
whom an unknown number are anxious to form an inde- 
pendent Republic with the 10,000,000 Ukrainians outside 
their borders. This possible secession would loom large in 
Europe if the Bolshevik regime began to crumble, but not 
before, for an independent Ukraine has never existed, ex- 
cept with German support from 1917 to 1919. 


Other nationalities that might break away are the Georgi- 
ans, the Tatars, the Uzbegs; and there are rumors of seces- 
sion in Siberia. On the other hand, the Slav Idea is a 
powerful reality, not only in Russia, but also in Bohemia, 
Moravia, Jugoslavia, Bulgaria, and among the millions of 
refugees abroad. Most of the refugees would prefer to con- 
tinue in exile and poverty rather than see their country 
broken into fragments. 

According to Stalin's recent speech (March loth, 1939) 
there is to be no slackening whatever in the activities of the 
G.P.U., for the Soviet State is still surrounded by the spies 
of hostile nations, who "endeavor to take advantage of the 
people's weaknesses, vanity, slackness." As long as these 
bourgeois enemies exist, the U.S.S.R. can never relax its vig- 
ilance. Foreign observers, he said, had asserted that "the 
purging of the Soviet organizations of spies, assassins, and 
wreckers like Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Yakir, Tukachev- 
sky, Rosengoltz, Bukharin, and other fiends, had shaken the 
Soviet system and caused its demoralization. One can only 
laugh at such cheap drivel. . . . 

"Who needs this handful of people who did not under- 
stand that the humblest Soviet citizen, being free from the 
fetters of capital, stands head and shoulders above any for- 
eign big-wig, whose neck wears the yoke of capitalist slav- 
ery? Of what value can this miserable band of foreign 
slaves be to our people? 

"In 1937 Tukachevsky, Yakir, Uborevitch, and other 
fiends were sentenced to be shot. After that, the elections 
to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. were held, and 
98.6 per cent of the total vote cast was for the Soviet power. 
At the beginning of 1938, Rosengoltz, Rykov, Bukharin, 
and other fiends were sentenced to be shot. After that, 
the elections to the Supreme Soviets of the Republics of 
the Union were held, and 99.4 per cent of the total vote 
was cast for the Soviet power. To listen to these foreign 


drivelers, one would think that if these spies, murderers, 
and wreckers had been left at liberty, the Soviet or- 
ganizations would have been far sounder and stronger. 

"We have no right to expect the classical Marxist writ- 
ers," he continued, "separated as they are from our day by 
a period of 45 or 55 years to have foreseen each and every 
zigzag of history in the distant future." Lenin was to have 
written a book on the future of Communism (Comrade 
Stalin naturally did not allude to his last postscript on Party 
members) when death cut short his task. "But what Lenin 
did not manage to do should be done by his disciples." 
{Stormy applause.)^ 

The U.S.S.R. has "smashed the enemies of the people," 
and "purged itself of degenerates." It has established an 
entirely new Socialist State, without precedent in history. 
"But development cannot stop there. We are going ahead 
towards Communism." Here Comrade Stalin grew a little 
vague. "Naturally, the forms of our State will change in 
conformity with the change in the situation at home and 
abroad." There could be no permanence, he told his audi- 
ence, unless "the capitalist encirclement is liquidated, and a 
Socialist encirclement takes its place." 

One thing is certain: no massacres, no savagery will ever 
turn the soul of the Slav toward materialism. Already there 
are signs of a religious revival. As to Stalin, his policy is 
simple enough. If he can induce the nations of Europe to 
fight, then (and then only) Communism may have a 
chance to live among the ruins of our civilization. Mean- 
while he remains, as he began,t the friend of all the friends 
of Anti-Christ. 

* Moscow News, March i6th, 1939. 
t See Appendix I. 

. xvv .\v\ . yyy . \vv . 

v>v v*v VrV v/y 

The Land of the Caesars 


N RoMAGNA, the province in which Signor Mussolini was 
born, one feels, as one does in Tuscany, the richness of the 
land which bears such abundant fruits, and has given the 
world so many saints and scoundrels. One expects to meet 
a condottiere or a poet round every corner, and one under- 
stands why a glory of great men have come out of Italy 
down the centuries. Since the days of Dante, she has pro- 
duced a world-genius in almost every generation; and now, 
through Mussolini, himself so clearly a Roman in shape 
and soul, she may again have set her course upon the steep 
and difficult path of Empire. Such thoughts come naturally 
to the traveler to Predappio. 

The old village, crowned by a castle, is mellow and 
medieval, but New Predappio, or Dovia, four miles away, 
where the Duce was born, is very new indeed, and ugly 
by comparison with its surroundings. The birthplace of 
the maker of modern Italy is a little house of stone and 
plaster, half of which is still occupied by the son of the 
peasant who shared it with Signor Mussolini's father and 

At the time of my visit a pompous flight of brick steps 
led up to this humble abode. I was a little disappointed: 
Italians have a sense of fitness in these matters: I could not 
imagine that Mussolini would care to be presanctified. The 
caretaker seemed to read my thoughts: "The Duce," he ex- 
plained, "has given orders to have that staircase taken 
down." Then he added with a laugh: "He isn't a saint yet, 
and doesn't want a shrine!" 



In the ground-floor front room, Signora Mussolini taught 
the village children. Upstairs she gave birth to Benito, to 
Arnaldo, and to Edvige, in a narrow^ iron bedstead, on a 
mattress stuffed v^ith maize-straw, such as is used to put 
round Chianti bottles. The family v^ere very poor, and 
rarely tasted meat or coffee. When Benito grev^ up he slept 
v^ith Arnaldo in the single bed next his mother's room. In 
the village you may still see the tv^o silo tov^ers he built 
w^hen he w^as a boy. A cousin of his still keeps a haber- 
dasher's shop in the main street, opposite the inn w^here I 

Mussolini's youth has been described by himself and 
many others;* wc may take up his story at the beginning 
of the Great War, when he was 31, editor of Avanti! and 
on the threshold of a brilliant career. 

Italian Socialists were generally against participation in 
the War, and Mussolini could not immediately run counter 
to the wishes of his Party. But he chafed under a policy 
of abstention, growing more and more restive as the weeks 
passed, until in October, 1914, he took one of the major 
decisions of his life, and resigned from his editorship. 

His comrades summoned him to a meeting of the 
Party in Milan, where he was hooted when he appeared 
on the platform. "Neutrals can never hope to dominate 
events," he said. "They will always be dominated by 
them. The creaking wheels of history have to be oiled 
with blood." This sentiment was greeted with hisses and 
whistles. In the excitement Mussolini broke a glass of 
water on the speakers' table. Spreading his bleeding hands 
to the audience, he cried: "You are going to try to banish 
me from the streets and piazzas of Italy! Well, I wager 
that I will continue to speak in the streets and piazzas, 
and that the masses will follow me, and that when there 

* See Appendix II, 


is no one left to listen to you I shall still be speaking 

His self-confidence infuriated the majority of Socialists, 
but impressed a few. He became known to a wider circle. 
Men of like mind gathered to his cause, including the 
famous D'Annunzio. Soon afterwards he started a news- 
paper of his own, the Popolo d'ltalia. 

Italy entered the Great War on the side of the Allies on 
May 24th, 1915. Mussolini rejoined the nth Regiment of 
Bersaglieri in August, and spent the first winter of his ac- 
tive service on the Isonzo front. Later his regiment was 
moved to the Carso, where he was promoted a corporal, 
and mentioned in battalion orders as "ever first in opera- 
tions of courage and audacity." 

Under the date of April 7th, 1916, we find the follow- 
ing comments on soldiers in Mussolini's Diary of the 

Morale is an imponderable not to be measured, but it is the co- 
efficient of victory, pre-eminent over technical and mechanical equip- 
ment. He will conquer who has the greatest reserve of psychic energy. 
A hundred thousand guns will not give victory if soldiers will not 
move to the assault. 

A company has a war-establishment of about 250 men: from the 
point of view of morale these can be divided as follows: 

Some 25 are men of heroic mould who know the reasons why wc 
are fighting, and fight with enthusiasm. 

Another 25 have returned voluntarily from foreign countries. These 
men are also first-class soldiers in every way. 

About 50 men — chiefly young — fight for the pleasure of it. 

The main part of the company — say, 100 men — accepts the fact of 
war without discussing it. These men would willingly have stayed at 
home, but now that they are fighting they know how to do their duty. 

About 40 men in every company are brave or cowardly according 
to circumstances. 

The remainder (say, 10 men) is composed of refractory or con- 
scienceless individuals: a residue that has not always the courage to 
reveal itself as the scum it is for fear of punishment. 

The figures may vary, but on the whole the proportion is constant. 


This is not the time to speak of what has been done to improve the 
morale of the Italian soldier, and of what has not been done; but 
one day we shall speak of this also. 

A cold, clear appraisal. . . . Mussolini was determined to 
see things as they are, and he already had plans for chang- 
ing them. To-day he has raised both the moral and the 
physical stature of his people; and the latter, which can be 
measured, has increased by nearly half an inch in the last 
ten years. 

On February 23rd, 1917, he was badly wounded by the 
premature bursting of a bomb in a trench-mortar. Four 
of his companions were killed. Mussolini received' forty 
wounds from steel splinters, which subsequently required 
twenty-seven operations for their extraction. For a month 
he lay in an emergency hospital at Ronchi, at the foot of 
the Carso (whence D'Annunzio was to start, two years 
later, for his Fiume adventure), too weak and feverish to 
be moved; then he was transferred to the base; and by 
August he had recovered sufficiently to be discharged. He 
was still a semi-invalid when the Caporetto retreat sent a 
shock of horror and alarm through Italy. Those nearest 
him during these days speak of his agony of spirit. He 
dragged himself back to his desk at the Popolo d'ltalia, and 
lived only in the destinies of his country. With the turn of 
the tide of war he recovered his health. 

Patriotic Socialists were fighting for their country (Cor- 
ridoni and Battisti were killed), but very few Members of 
Parliament had reached the trenches; and only one was 
killed in action. Count Brandolini of Venice. Politicians 
were excessively unpopular in Italy during the Great War, 
and one had the impression, talking to soldiers returning 
from the front, that not only the pescecani (war profiteers) 
but the whole Parliamentary system would be brought to 
judgment at the first opportunity. 

^F ^nF ^F 


Liberal Democracy had fallen on evil days in Italy 
since Mazzini and other exiles had first propounded its 
lofty principles. From 1870 to 1922 there were 32 Govern- 
ments, with an average life of 18 months each. The lead- 
ing politicians were not financially corrupt (and never 
have been, with one notorious exception during the years 
immediately after the Great War), but they administered 
a political "racket" without parallel, except perhaps in 
the United States. It was based on the English Parlia- 
mentary system, but each electoral district had a political 
boss, or "Grande Elettore," who supported one or other 
of the groups in Parliament in return for a fixed number 
of local rewards for his henchmen, such as jobs in the 
Revenue or Customs, or in the railways, schools, post 
office, police, etc. The chosen group sent down an ap- 
proved candidate, whose task, when elected, was to see 
that his supporters received the promised prizes. Under 
this system a large and useless Civil Service grew up, con- 
sisting of officials appointed for political reasons, and prac- 
tically irremovable owing to the protection they received 
from the local magnate. During a period of 70 years only 
one Ministry lost a general election. When in danger of 
losing a seat even the most Liberal Ministers had no hesita- 
tion in resorting to acts of violence. At Citta di Castello, 
for instance, "the Prefect prevented the electors from reach- 
ing the polling booths by drawing up cordons of police 
across the roads: he kept back a howling mob of would-be 
voters and finally dispersed them by charging them, as if 
they had been rebels and enemies. It was impossible for the 
strongest Minister to reform even the most flagrant of such 
abuses, for all groups and all parties were equally guilty 
and equally interested."* 

Under such circumstances the average Italian shunned 

* The Making of a Corporate State, by Harold E. Goad. Christophers, 1932. 


politics. He had no respect for Parliament or its deputies, 
and he wanted a change. This revolutionary feeling was 
openly expressed after the defeat of Caporetto in 1917. It 
was followed by the rise of Communism in 1918, and by 
Fascism, which was founded in 1919. 

The causes of Caporetto were not any lack of courage on 
the part of the Italian soldier, but were due to muddle and 
incompetence in the rear. Before Anglo-French assistance 
arrived the Italians had already re-formed their ranks, and 
the country was grimly and silently determined to avenge 

It is an error to assume that the Italian is always a talka- 
tive and excitable person. His nerves are among the best in 
Europe (you have only to note how he drives a car or an 
airplane), and hardly a case of shell-shock occurred in the 
Italian army. He will gesticulate and argue when happy, 
but face him with an emergency, or an insult, and a very 
different man appears. When he is silent the Italian can be 
very dangerous. 

After Caporetto, Italy was wounded in her pride. She 
reorganized her army and fought back with fury and 
great success. By her victory of Vittorio Veneto, she cap- 
tured the largest number of prisoners and the greatest 
quantity of arms and ammunition ever taken in military 
operations, unless one so describes the German seizure of 

Similarly, later, during the rise of Communism, there 
came a period when the man-in-the-street was too angry to 
talk. He acted, however, swiftly, sometimes savagely, but on 
the whole with moderation and good sense. 

As soon as the Cease Fire sounded in 191 8 a certain war- 
weariness became evident in all the countries of Europe, 
and in none was the reaction more violent than in Italy. 


Patriotism went suddenly and sharply out of fashion. There 
were no victory parades in Italy, but an epidemic of strikes. 
Decorations for a triumph in Rome were dismantled at the 
bidding of the Socialists. Soldiers went back to their civil 
jobs as if ashamed of themselves. 

Socialists, Reformists, Social-Democrats, and Republicans 
all tended to an anti-militarist, anti-monarchical policy, and 
among them the Communists were at work to form a 
single front for the overthrow of society. In February, 1919, 
they organized a Red Day in Milan, when the Italian flag 
was torn down, war-veterans insulted, and a resolution 
passed demanding the immediate release of all imprisoned 
deserters. Parliament did nothing. The Popolo d'ltalia was 
a lone voice, crying not exactly in the wilderness, for it 
then possessed an audience of 120,000, but in a welter of 
contending factions. 

On March 23rd, 1919, Mussolini founded Fascism in a 
little hall, holding about a hundred people, off the Piazza 
San Sepolcro in Milan. The meeting was attended by the 
readers of the Popolo d'ltalia from all over Italy. Other 
groups of patriots sprang up at Genoa, Turin, Verona, 
Bergamo, Pavia, Cremona, Naples, consisting of ex-oflicers, 
war-veterans, arditi,^ peasants who hated the egalitarian 
doctrines of Socialism, workers who despised the dialectical 
theory of history (for the true Italian is a romantic, living 
under a mask of commercial cunning, which often stifles 
him) and women who wanted home and security rather 
than anarchy and atheism. Many of these people formed 
independent groups: they only coalesced gradually under 
Mussolini's leadership. There was little talk of Fascism, ex- 

* Storm-troopers, or "black flames" (fiatnme nere), who were formed in July, 
191 7, on the Isonzo front, from volunteers chosen for their audacity. They wore 
a black flash on the collar of their uniform. They were disbanded after the war, 
but reconstituted as the Blackshirt Militia under Fascism. Their battle-cry is 
A Not! (To us — the victory!) 


cept in the Popolo dltalia, but for all these enthusiasts the 
doctrines of Parliamentary Liberalism, Socialism and Com- 
munism had passed out of the region of discussion into an 
arctic circle of contempt. 

# # # 

On April loth, 19 19, a general strike occurred in Rome 
because the authorities refused to allow a demonstration in 
favor of Lenin. On May 4th all the dock-laborers in Genoa 
came out, and 80,000 railwaymen in Liguria. In June and 
July there were riots in Forli, Florence, Turin, Milan, Ales- 
sandria, Genoa, Pisa, and an abortive general strike in favor 
of the U.S.S.R. throughout North Italy. 

Details of the Communist outrages which followed are 
necessarily abbreviated, and may appear a wearisome rela- 
tion of events best forgotten. Alas, they are still topical, at 
least for France and possibly for Belgium. The reader is 
urged to note what happened in Italy, and what the apolo- 
gists for Communism are saying to-day. 

In September, 19 19, the Government of Italy, under 
Socialist pressure, granted an amnesty to all war-deserters, 
giving them practically the same opportunities for civil em- 
ployment as loyal veterans. In October the Italian Socialist 
Congress held at Bologna adopted the full creed of Bol- 
shevism as its program. On December ist the Socialist 
Members of Parliament in Rome remained seated when the 
King came to open Parliament, and sang the "Red Flag" in 
his presence. A deserter from the front, Signor Misiano, 
took his seat in Parliament. 

On January 13th, 1920, there was a strike of postal 
employees, and on the 20th a strike on the Italian State 
Railways, in which the permanent way was destroyed by 
dynamite at Milan, at Arezzo, and at Ancona. The Gov- 
ernment took no disciplinary action; indeed, under pressure 
from the Socialists some men who had remained on duty 


when called out by their union were actually punished. 
Strikers received full pay for the days they had been 

During this year thefts from the baggage of passengers 
had reached such proportions that nothing was safe out of 
the traveler's sight. Even when leaving a suitcase in a cloak- 
room it was customary to have it corded and sealed, for 
which the attendant expected a tip. 

In February, 200,000 employees of the chemical indus- 
tries came out on strike. In March the employees of the 
great Fiat Motor Works in Turin walked out, and the 
occupation of factories and farms reached considerable pro- 
portions later in the year. Workers were generally very 
well behaved, and they had reason to complain of their 
conditions, which no Government had made a serious at- 
tempt to ameliorate; but under Communist guidance both 
production and consumption declined, and everyone was 
the poorer. 

In the Fiat Works the employees asked the proprietor, 
Signor Agnelli, to return, in order to help them in the ex- 
port business, which they did not feel competent to admin- 
ister. He refused, until he was given back his property. 
Eventually Signor Giolitti, who was then Prime Minister, 
induced the men to return to work, but strikes and lock- 
outs were still frequent, and inflicted enormous losses on 
both parties. 

Red guards were formed in all the principal cities of 
Italy; they attacked soldiers in uniform, burned factories 
and shops, bombed the meetings of their rivals. There 
were many murders, and constant boycotts in Genoa, 
Turin, Milan, Florence, Bologna — all the provincial 

In the spring of this year (1920) I was journeying from 
Spezia to the village of Aulla, on the line to Parma. At the 
first station out of Spezia the engine-driver refused to obey 


the guard's signal to proceed. A swarm of Communists be- 
sieged the station-master's office. We had two officers in 
uniform on board; unless they got off the train, the Com- 
munists declared, it would not be allowed to start. The 
officers got off the train. (That year a memorandum was 
issued from the War Office in Rome suggesting that it 
would be more tactful for officers to travel in civilian 
clothes to avoid such incidents as this.) My companion, 
who was a lawyer and a man of peace, saluted the Com- 
munists with his clenched fist, but he also clenched his 
teeth, and there was a grim look in his eyes. 

In November municipal elections resulted in Communist 
or Socialist wins in 2,000 out of 8,000 communes. Bologna 
was one of the "Red" communes. At the first meeting of 
the council, on November 21st, 1920, a scuffle occurred 
outside the Municipality, and the Socialists present fired 
on the crowd. Inside the council chamber they opened 
fire on the members — who were unarmed — and killed 
Captain Giulio Giordani, a war veteran with one leg, who 
had been decorated for valor, and wounded two other 

For some months the Fascists had been growing in 
strength; now, largely owing to the cowardly murder of 
Giordani, their numbers began to swell from hour to hour. 
The man-in-the-street no longer discussed Communism. He 
was either its enemy, or himself a Communist. 

Already in the summer of 1919 the Fascists had begun 
to break strikes and to attack the Communists, who were 
terrorizing the cities and countryside. In October of that 
year a Fascist Congress had been held in Florence, in which 
45,000 members were represented. By now — November, 
1920 — they had trebled in numbers, and public opinion was 
largely on their side. Communist leaders began to ask for 
protection from the police, many of whose comrades had 
been murdered by their followers. 


Another murder which sent a thrill of horror through 
Italy was committed by the Communists in Florence on 
February 27th, 1921. A boy of fifteen, Giovanni Berta, 
whose only crime was that he was the son of a manu- 
facturer, was knocked off his bicycle and pursued by Red 
Guards. He bolted across the iron bridge over the Arno. 
When halfway across he tried to escape detection by climb- 
ing over the parapet and hanging on to it by his hands, but 
the Communists saw him: they cut off his fingers, and he 
fell into the river and was drowned. 

A year later, at the siege of Parma, Italo Balbo heard a 
Communist singing behind the barricades: 

Hanno ammazato Berta, 
Figlio di pescecani: 
Evviva il communista 
Che li spezzo le mani! 

They've killed Berta, 

Brat of a big tofi: 

Here's to the bloke 

Who chopped his fingers off! 

Several other murders were committed by the Red 
Guards on the same day that Berta was murdered. The 
people of Florence rose against them, and in the rioting 
which followed twenty men were killed and 100 wounded. 
By the light of burning clubs and cooperatives many So- 
cialists, doubtless some of them innocent, paid for the mis- 
deeds of their Communist allies. 

On March 23rd a bomb was thrown by Communists 
into the middle of the audience of the Diana Theater at 
Milan, killing twenty people and wounding 200, many of 
whom were women and children. At the funeral of the 
victims, Mussolini and his Fascists were cheered through- 
out the city, especially in the poor quarters. All over 
Italy the popularity as well as the numbers of the Fascists 


On May 15th, 1921, general elections were held, and 
Signer Mussolini, who had secured only 5,000 votes in 
Milan in 1919, was returned by large majorities in three 
constituencies, of which he chose Milan. In his first 
speech to the Chamber, on June 21st, he surprised the 
deputies, who thought that he was only some new kind 
of agitator, with a closely reasoned and scarifying review 
of the Government's foreign policy. Of Communism he 

We deny the existence of two classes, because there are many more 
than two classes in society. We deny that human history can be ex- 
plained in terms of economics. We affirm that the true story of 
capitalism is now beginning, because capitalism is not a system of 
oppression only, but also a selection of values, a co-ordination of 
hierarchies, a more amply developed sense of individual responsibilities. 

^t, 46. ,tf, 


By 1921 the Black Shirts had won their way to the heart 
of the masses and had made a deep impression on the mid- 
dle classes. They were young, idealistic, flexible in their 
methods; they had no ponderous Marxian theory to im- 
pose; their purpose was to see that order was preserved, 
that citizens could go about their business unmolested, and 
that the Crucifix and the Italian flag were not insulted. In 
short, that life went on. 

Under Socialist-Communist administration life had been 
coming to a standstill. The Posts and Telegraphs func- 
tioned so badly that a telegram sometimes took a week to 
get from one part of Italy to another. Streets were rarely 
swept, municipal employees swarmed in every office, doing 
little but increase the rates. The railways were a byword 
for dirt, delay, and bribery. The tramways in Milan, which 
under a private company had earned a profit, now showed 
a heavy deficit. 

In September, 1921, Italo Balbo, a young demobilized 


ex-officer of Ferrara (he had enhsted at eighteen, and was 
now twenty-four) who had been organizing the Fascist 
militia in his province, was ordered by Mussolini to make 
a demonstration march on Ravenna. The men collected by 
groups and formed two columns, each 1,500 strong, from 
Ferrara and Bologna respectively, and marched toward 
Ravenna in military formation, with scouts out and bands 
playing. At Lugo he was joined by Signor Dino Grandi 
(now Ambassador in London), and together the lads led 
their cohorts to the tomb of Dante. 

For the first time, Balbo tells us in his Diary* he 
realized the possibilities of the future. Fascism had an 

The men, in their black shirts (the usual dress of a 
laborer in the Romagnaf), had been assembled, paraded, 
billeted, fed, dispersed without a hitch. This was Italy's 
answer to the cry, "Christ is dead, but Lenin lives!" It was 
an army of boys, inspired with the generous idealism — and 
occasionally with the cruelty — of youth. 

Our militia [its secret orders ran] is at the service of God and our 
Italian country. Every soldier must serve Italy with purity, pervaded 
by a profound mysticism, as disdainful of opportunism and prudence 
as he is of cowardice. The Fascist soldier knows only duty. He has 
no rights, save that of being allowed to perform his duty. Honor is 
to him what it was to the condottieri, a law which strives to reach 
but never reaches the apex of perfection. 

The chiefs, military as well as political, have on their shoulders 
the greatest responsibility. Whoever to-day desires to build a new 
hierarchy must be a master of sacrifice even before he is a master of 
passion and of arms. 

It is true that the Black Shirts sometimes fell short of 
their ideals. There were burnings and floggings which 

*Diario, 1922, by Italo Balbo. Mondadori, Milan, 1937. It is a pity that this 
vivid document has not been translated into English. 

t Other authorities hold that the Fascist shirt was derived from the uniform of 
the Arditi. 


were authorized, as retribution for crimes which had 
gone unpunished by a supine Government, but there were 
also some personal reprisals. These were sternly punished, 
however. Not so the administration of castor oil to 
hostile demagogues and the occasional shaving of a 
Communist skull, which was then painted with the 
colors of the Italian flag. Force was met with force, 
but the Italian revolution was very different from the 
Russian, and there were instances of chivalry on both 
sides. After the March on Rome, Mussolini's 100,000 
men dispersed quietly to their homes. There were no 

Events moved swiftly and — as we see them now — in- 
evitably to their crisis during 1922. Anti-Fascist writers 
make play of the fact that Communism had already been 
rejected by the people of Italy before the March on Rome. 
It is true that the people were tired of disorder and dis- 
gusted by Red methods long before Mussolini came to 
power, but there is not a shadow of proof that any other 
Government could have given expression to their desire for 
security. Ministers had been either too cowardly to inter- 
vene or had hoped that Fascists and Communists would 
exterminate each other, like the Kilkenny cats. So little had 
Bolshevism been "liquidated" by the summer of 1922 that 
on July 31st of that year the Alliance of Labor (which 
represented practically all Left-Wing organizations in Italy) 
declared a general strike, hoping that in the subsequent 
rioting the Government would be forced to suppress the 

But the Communist hopes of disorder were disap- 
pointed. Many districts were already in the hands of 
the Black Shirts. Mussolini sent an ultimatum to 
Signor Facta's Government: either the forces of the 
Crown would see that trains ran, food reached the people, 
and shops remained open, or else, within forty-eight 


hours, the Fascists would provide for these services them- 
selves. The Government did nothing, so the Fascists took 
charge, and in less than a w^eek the general strike v^as 

Most people now looked on Mussolini as the coming 
man. In Rome there was a general collapse of authority. 
Signor Giolitti, nearing eighty, and taking a cure at Vichy, 
was sent for by the King. He promised to return in the 
autumn. Meanwhile the Budget deficit was ;r 100,000,000, 

Plans for the march on Rome were made in the greatest 
secrecy. A quadrumvirate — Balbo, De Bono, Bianchi, and 
De Vecchi — was to command the Fascist militia of 400,000 
Black Shirts, which would arrive in the neighborhood of 
Rome by three columns. A fourth column would march 
from the south. General headquarters were at Perugia. 
Grandi was to be in charge of the political negotiations in 
Rome. Mussolini remained at his desk in Milan, with the 
threads of the revolution in his hands. It is said that if a 
retreat had been necessary, in face of an army mobilization, 
he would have formed a Provisional Government in North 

In Rome twenty-five groups of ten selected Fascists were 
to occupy the most important centers of the Government, 
in case of serious disturbance. They never came into action, 
but the existence of these 250 storm-troopers (kept a 
profound secret at the time, and indeed until recently) 
shows with what care Mussolini had prepared for every 

On the night of October 26th-27th the Fascists 
mobilized. Certain groups occupied strategic points, 
others marched to their rendezvous surrounding Rome. 
Most of the railwaymen had already become Fascists, so 
communications were easy. Signor Facta consulted the 
Chief of the General Staff, General Badoglio, who said 
that the Fascists could certainly be dispersed by force, but 


only if martial law were declared. Facta sent out the 
decree proclaiming martial law to the prefects, and issued 
it to the Press before submitting it to the King. But the 
King refused to sign it, knowing that it would lead to 
civil war. Facta resigned. Salandra tried to form a 
Cabinet, but failed. Thereupon the King turned to 

On the morning of October 30th, 1922, Mussolini ar- 
rived in the capital and presented himself at the Quirinal 
in his black shirt. For Rvt hours his men marched past the 
King. Immediately afterwards they were ordered to return 
home. Disappointment was keen among many Fascists 
who had never seen the Eternal City, but discipline was 
preserved, and the march on Rome cost nothing to the 
Italian Exchequer, for all expenses were paid privately, or 
out of party funds. 

Mussolini convened Parliament immediately. ''From now 
on," he said, ''the watchwords of Italy will be economy, 
wor\, discipline. I might have made this dreary hall a 
bivouac for my platoons. Instead, I have summoned you to 
give me a vote of confidence." Amazed, and only a little 
disconcerted by the tone of the new Prime Minister, Parlia- 
ment gave him 306 votes against 116, with 7 abstentions. 
The vote of the Senate was almost unanimous in favor of 
Mussolini. So began Year i of the Fascist Era. 

# # # 

During my first interview with Mussolini, in 1928, he 
told me that Europe was entering upon a ten-year period 
of crisis. To the Senate, in June of that year, he said: 
"Between 1935 and 1940 Europe will find itself at a very 
delicate period of its history, a period of new and im- 
portant changes. Problems will arise which I dearly hope 
may be solved pacifically; but grave complications would 
be avoided if the Peace Treaties could be revised." These 


words have been in print a long time. I remember that I 
thought his prediction too disturbing for the readers of 
The Spectator. 

Mussohni displayed none of the mannerisms I had 
expected. He had scowled and snapped at my editor a 
year previously, making him walk the length of his big 
room in surly silence; but he met me at the door, took my 
arm, said we were brother journalists (an old gag, I 
thought!) and that he had a great admiration for England. 
Among his best friends in Rome at this time were Sir 
Ronald and Lady Sybil Graham. He was teaching him- 
self English: he had learned to say groups of words to- 
gether, instead of carefully enunciating each, as most for- 
eigners do. To-day he speaks well, although naturally with 
an accent. 

Since he came to power, Mussolini has found time {a) to 
learn English, {b) to learn to fly and navigate an airplane, 
{c) to learn to ride; and this in addition to formulating a 
philosophy, writing constant articles, and governing Italy. 
When I asked him whether he did not find himself over- 
burdened with six Ministries, he replied, "It's really simpler 
to give orders myself, instead of having to send for the 
Minister concerned and convince him about what I want 

His energy is amazing, but it is not really exceptional 
for an Italian. Italians run to extremes in vitality. Either 
they are lazzaroni, sitting about all day in the sun and 
doing nothing (such people are by no means confined 
to Naples), or they are human volcanoes. An inn-keeper 
friend of mine is up at 6 a.m. (I used to meet him then, 
sweeping out the bar) and is never in bed before midnight. 
His family consists of his wife, his son Nino, aged eleven, 
and four daughters. He and his wife, with Nino and 
three daughters (Maria-Lucia is too young to work), look 
after ten or twelve bedrooms, serve about fifty luncheons 


and dinners, and refreshments throughout the day and 
night, in addition to milking and feeding two cows in the 
basement. Cooking is done by a cousin and his wife, who 
have a young baby, convalescent from whooping cough. 
Only on festivals, when there is a great influx of visitors, 
does a hired waiter appear for the day. Otherwise the inn 
is a family business. At ten o'clock at night I have often 
seen Nino and Carla (aged ten) leaning against the tap- 
room wall, white as sheets, with black rings under their 
eyes, wilting with exhaustion. They are sent to bed then, 
but Eva and Irma stay with their father until midnight. 
But my friend is not the least cruel to his children: he 
adores them and they are as happy as can be: they think 
it perfectly natural that man — and woman — must live by 
brow's sweat. Their customers, the peasants, win an even 
more arduous living from the soil. 

Occasionally, in the afternoon, when I am thinking of a 
siesta, I see Nino playing with Maria-Lucia. He has made 
a swing for her, but chiefly they scream and scamper about. 
They have no toys: they make their own amusements, and 
I think they are the happier for it. They take turns dan- 
dling the cook's baby, and stuffing it with sweets. . . . 
Incidentally, there are no perambulators in the country dis- 
tricts: in my infancy I was always carried on a cushion on 
my brawny nurse's arm. 

There must be a million or more of mute inglorious 
Mussolinis in Italy, ambitious, tireless people, living on next 
to nothing, and working prodigiously at their trade, and at 
various hobbies also. These people have two sides to their 
nature: they are as hard as nails where their business is 
concerned, but their heart is in their home. 

This is true of Mussolini himself, whose brow of a 
dreamer and jaw of a "go-getter" reveal the characteristic 
dual strands. "The Duce is a family man: he detests 
going out at night, and his real ambition is to play with 


his children." This is the observation not of some syco- 
phantic Fascist, but of an eminent Englishman with expert 
knowledge of Italy. It is perhaps an exaggeration, but full 
of truth. 

Mussolini is a genius, a man such as appears but rarely 
in the centuries, but he is also a typical ItaUan peasant. 
Such men spare neither themselves nor others when the 
corn is to be reaped, or the vintage pressed. See the ter- 
races cut out of the hillsides (half the soil of Italy is rocky 
or barren) by the labor of long generations who have 
loved and guarded every foot of soil. Watch a boy carry- 
ing two hundredweight of grass along a mountain path: 
you would think he would eat like a prize-fighter to have 
the strength to bear such a burden, but in fact he lives on 
maize, and olives, and even a cup of cofifee is a luxury. 
Go on a pilgrimage with peasants: you will find that they 
walk twenty miles or more, with their women and chil- 
dren, and, having heard Mass shortly after midnight, 
they will sit up until dawn on the moonlit piazza, singing 
praises to the Queen of Heaven. Sometimes it rains on 
these occasions: then they laugh, and shiver, and sing the 

A thing which impressed me greatly about Mussolini I 
must set down here, although I know that it will be strenu- 
ously disputed. Mussolini has a large streak of human 
kindness in his complex character. 

Probably no great leader of men is without kindness: 
people do not give their lives except for love. Mussolini 
loves people: his face and eyes can assume a very gentle 
expression, never seen in his photographs, which always 
represent him — sometimes comically, to an Anglo-Saxon 
mind — as a synthesis of warrior virtues. The real Mussolini 
is far too complex, far too Italian, to be only a soldier. He 
is full of pugnacity, but also full of curiosity, malice, wit, 
and affection. By virtue of his congenital mental resilience 


he understands us better than we can understand him. 
Similarly, because we were influenced for three hundred 
years by Rome, we are more flexible and quicker in the 
uptake than the Germans. As a builder of a bridge of good- 
will between the Great Powers, the Duce may yet play a 
great role. 

I have written that he has a kind side to his character 
(not disclosed when he finished the war in Abyssinia with 
mustard gas, or when he invaded Albania on Good Friday: 
still, few great men and no Great Power can stand guilt- 
less at the bar of history), and I believe that his bellicose 
utterances, on occasion, are designed to bolster up an ag- 
gressiveness which is not an Italian characteristic, but which 
he considers is necessary to his nation in present circum- 
stances. The sudden attack on Albania — about which I find 
it difficult to write calmly — was designed to prove to the 
world that Italy is in deadly earnest about her claims 
against France in Tunis and Jibouti. I do not believe that 
it was meant to force our hand, or to provoke war. But 
war will be inevitable if we do not answer in a language 
Mussolini understands: by action, not protests: by armed 
strength, combined with a readiness to negotiate with re- 
gard to the French-Italian quarrel. 

Mussolini is not a man of peace. His views, plainly 
stated, are that perpetual peace is an impossibility. But 
he is not looking for a war with us. During the height of 
the Abyssinian crisis an Italian friend of mine described 
to me very vividly a war conference in Rome, under the 
presidency of the Duce, in which a certain official pointed 
out that the British fleet at Alexandria was seriously short 
of ammunition (we had, in fact, only ten rounds for our 
big guns at the time) and that a series of air raids by the 
famous "Death Squadron" might send half our ships to 
the bottom. Mussolini seemed to agree with this sug- 
gestion, which horrified my friend; but when the Duce 


spoke, all he said was: "We might attack England. But 
we will not. We needn't discuss it, even. That subject is 
closed, gentlemen, unless I reopen it myself at some future 

Too much importance need not be attached to such re- 
ports; nevertheless I am sure that Mussolini is sincere in his 
desire to be friends with England. With France also, pro- 
vided he can obtain a favorable settlement of the present 
dispute (I deal with it below) because he has no delusions 
about the fighting qualities of the French, when defending 
their own possessions. 

Moreover, the Duce knows full well, although he never 
admits it in his speeches, that "to live for a day like a 
lion" is not a sensible man's ambition. Italians are not dis- 
posed to allow heroics to interfere with business. They are 
ambitious, yes, and brave when need be; but they dislike 
the idea of playing second fiddle to Germany in an adven- 
ture in world conquest. Their position is too dangerous. To 
the French and ourselves the Mediterranean is only an im- 
portant highway {via), but for Italy it is vita, life. Italy will 
hesitate to stake her existence on a gamble in which Ger- 
many would reap most of the profits. 

Mussolini is not in the least like the excitable demagogue 
or the swaggering dictator which the British public imag- 
ines him to be. To impress an audience of orators, such 
as the Italians are, large gestures and vivid phrasing are 
necessary. No one but an Italian, speaking to Italians, would 
hold up an ear of wheat and say: ''This is not only bread, 
but bayonets!" There are bayonets in most of the Duce's 
speeches,* but in private he is calm, and gesticulates very 

* Also epigrams, and a note of sardonic humor. In one of them, relating to 
rearmament, he said that big guns were "belle cose." This was translated at "Big 


At the end of my interview, after more than an hour's 
talk, he passed suddenly to drama. He had just been 
telling me that he made mistakes. "Everybody makes 
mistakes," he said, "but I don't lose confidence in myself 
or in others for that reason. I am like a surgeon. If I 
showed doubt, what would the world think? Italy is my 
patient. When an operation has to be performed, the 
surgeon doesn't ask the patient what he is to do. He is 
paid to know. I know, and, when necessary, I cut swiftly 
and deep!" 

So saying, he sprang up, eyes flashing, strong hands tense, 
chloroformed an imaginary patient, seized a paper knife, 
carved up the ghost. 

Then he sat down, his strong hands motionless on the 
arms of his chair. (Very few Italians keep their fingers 
still when talking.) "In view of the importance of what 
you write," he said to me gravely (and it only occurred to 
me afterwards that what he meant was "in case you make 
a fool of yourself"), "I would like to see a copy of your 

I sent it to him at 7 p.m. It was returned within an 
hour, with the deletion of a paragraph in praise of Mr. 
Winston Churchill, whom I had made him say was "a 
very great man," but otherwise unaltered; and a signed 

* * * 

guns are also beautiful things." But "belle cose" is an obvious pun, and has two 
other idiomatic meanings: one is "good wishes." In a discourse on economics he 
said that planners would like all babies to be born the same length, so that 
cradles could be standardized. Of Socialism he said, "It is no longer a doctrine, 
but a grudge." When facing an angry Parliament at the time of the Matteoti 
murder in 1924 (Matteoti was a prominent young Socialist deputy, killed by 
Fascists, some of whom were in the confidence of the Duce: the affair shook 
the regime and led to the dictatorship) Mussolini cried: "What butterflies are wc 
chasing under the Arch of Titus? If Fascism has been only castor oil and a club, 
and not the proud passion of Italian youth, then the blame is on me!" 


Although there is nothing surprising in the long hours 
Mussolini keeps, his physical fitness is exceptional for a 
man of 55. This is largely due to a diet of Spartan sim- 
plicity, begun when he developed a gastric ulcer, soon 
after the march on Rome, when he lived entirely on milk 
for six months. He is now practically a vegetarian, and 
neither smokes nor drinks wine. It is said that he thinks 
that the Italians eat too much starch. At a recent meeting 
of the Fascist Grand Council, which begins at 10 p.m. 
and often lasts far into the night, he shouted to one of his 
oldest followers, who had nodded off to sleep: "Look at 
him! He is stupefied with spaghetti!" 

He rises at 6.30, goes for a ride, breakfasts on fruit 
and milk while reading the morning papers, then drives 
to his enormous room in the Palazzo Venezia, where he 
sees his principal private secretary, the Party Secretary, 
and the Chief of Police. The remainder of the morning 
is passed in interviews: he sees the Foreign Minister and 
the Minister for Popular Culture daily, and other heads 
of Ministries as required. He leaves at one o'clock for 
luncheon, his main meal, which consists usually of soup 
and vegetables, with a very little coarse bread. In the 
summer he swims before luncheon at Ostia, where he 
has a hut, and has a nap until 3.30 p.m. In the winter 
he is frequently back at work by 1.30. (At other times 
he has a fencing lesson at this time, or plays the violin.) 
In the evening he has a one-course meal: either fruit, or 
soup, or bread and milk. On Tuesdays and Saturdays he 
sees a film in his private cinema in the Villa Torlonia; 
and he is generally in bed by 10 p.m., though sometimes 
he works far into the night. He very rarely dines in 
public. Even when staying with friends he generally 
avoids meeting them in the evening, and has a bowl of 
hot milk and a piece of country bread brought to his 


Recently there have been stories in England that he is 
ageing, and that he is becoming more and more of a 
recluse. These are nonsense. He was never in better 
health: he radiates vitality, and lew men of his age are 
as active. The only reason he sees fev^^er foreign inter- 
viev^^ers is that he knov^s they can no longer serve his 

In Italy the Duce's doings are chronicled daily, and in 
somev^hat tedious fashion, to English eyes. But v^e must 
never forget (as v^e generally do!) that passions are more 
vehement and loyalties less steady under southern than 
under northern skies. This has nothing to do with Musso- 
lini: it is a fact of nature. Although he is loved — there 
is no question of that — by the vast majority of Italians, 
there always has been, is now, and always will be a 
dangerous minority, in all Mediterranean countries, ready 
to achieve its ends by violence. It is something in the 
blood, for Italians are ready enough to transfer their feuds 
to Chicago. Subtle as the Italians are in some respects, 
they do not understand understatement in the Anglo- 
Saxon manner. If a man is a dictator, he must behave 
like one. The "upper-classes" may smile, but Mussolini 
is a man of the people, and he knows what the masses 
want. As long as he governs Italy the limelight must fall 
on him. 

The King of Italy is not neglected, as anti-Fascists often 
assert. Far from it, the House of Savoy has never been so 
powerful as it is in Italy to-day. Mussolini has come to love 
and respect the King with all the intensity of his passionate 
nature, and consults him on many details of administra- 
tion (as well, of course, as on all foreign policy) which in 
former days were wholly in the hands of the Government. 
The King is no longer young. He is not often seen in 
public, but his influence behind the scenes is enormous. 


There is no other constant influence on Mussolini's public 
life, now that Arnaldo is dead. 
The Fascist hierarchy consists of: 

1. The King, 

2. The Head of the Government, 

3. The Cabinet, 

4. The Fascist Grand Council, 

5. The Senate, 

6. The (new) Chamber of Fasces and Corporations. 

The above are organs of Government, with full legisla- 
tive powers. Below them come National Corporations, 
National Confederations, Provincial Federations, Syndi- 
cates and Category Guilds in somewhat confusing variety, 
which it is unnecessary to fully classify here. 

The operative unit of the Fascist economic system is the 
Syndicate. In every trade and in every district through- 
out Italy there are separate local Syndicates for employers 
and employed, who elect their own officials. Representation, 
it should be noted, is occupational, not geographical. 

If you are a textile operative, for instance, you probably 
choose someone from your mill to look after your interests, 
and so on. Everyone who contributes to the wealth of the 
country by hand or by brain has a representative in the 
hierarchy of the Corporate State who is acquainted with 
his or her problems. (Women join the Syndicates on ex- 
actly the same terms as men. Five women have seats in 
the National Confederations. The Federation of Profes- 
sional Women and Artists has a membership of 10,000.) 
Negotiations between capital and labor, or between rival 
interests, are conducted as far as possible locally. Strikes 
and lockouts are forbidden, and disputes between employers 
and workers come to arbitration first between representa- 
tives of the Syndicates. When a dispute occurs which can- 


not be settled locally, it goes to the provincial Federations 
— say, to Turin, Milan, Venice, etc.; and if it cannot be 
settled there it goes to the Confederations in Rome, and 
from them, if necessary, to the National Council of Cor- 
porations. Two-thirds of the disputes in industry in the 
last fifteen years have been settled in favor of the workers. 
(Soon after coming to power Mussolini said: "If the 
bourgeoisie expects to find in Fascism a lightning-conductor 
to save it from the just demands of labor, it is very much 

It is not necessary to be a member of the Fascist Party 
in order to belong to the Syndicates. Every worker and 
every employer, however, whether a Fascist or not, must 
subscribe to his Syndicate a sum equivalent to one day's 
pay, or to one day's profit, for it represents his interests as 
a producer. 

Among the functions of the Syndicates are the organi- 
zation of child welfare centers, sports clubs, labor ex- 
changes, and the administration of unemployment insur- 
ance, which they collect and disburse themselves. The 
workers, therefore, have direct contact with many of the 
problems of Government which in democratic countries are 
left to a bureaucracy. It is probably true to say that a 
worker in Italy has more direct control over matters which 
afFect him — unemployment insurance, for instance — than a 
worker in France or Great Britain. 

Every producer, as has been said, is a member of his 
local Syndicate. Federations are composed of regionally 
and vocationally grouped Syndicates. Confederations are 
national bodies representing the whole mass of workers 
or the whole mass of employers in a particular industry. 
Above the Confederations are twenty-two Corporations, 
representing the industries of Italy as a whole. Parallel 
with the Corporations are twenty-three Category Guilds, 


composed of equal numbers of employers and employees 
(to whom are added necessary experts) engaged in a given 
cycle of production. For instance, the Beet Guild has in 
it employers and workers on the farms, in beet factories, 
jam factories, the confectionery trade, distilleries, etc. The 
functions of the Category Guilds are largely technical, 
but they also coordinate the interests of producers and 
consumers, and both with the interests of the nation as a 

The new Chamber of Fasces and Corporations will not 
be elected, but will be composed of some 600 National 
Councilors taking their seats, ex officio, as officials of the 
Fascist Party or as members of the above-mentioned Con- 
federations, Corporations, or Category Guilds. 

In their hill-towns of the Renaissance the Italians gave 
us — among much else — the idea of party government 
(the very words are Italian), so no one can say that they 
have not given it a trial. The system which they are now 
evolving may have many disadvantages, but it cannot be 
called irresponsive to the will of the people. (It can be 
criticized, indeed, as being too responsive to certain 
groups and to trade interests, as distinct from the whole 
body of the nation.) In theory the national interest is 
supreme. Everyone in the Fascist hierarchy, including the 
King (who must look to Divine guidance), has a judge 
above him who decides questions from an ideal view- 
point. This is the theory, and I do not suggest that in 
practice Italy is more idealistic than my own country. I 
believe that in England our rulers still do decide major 
issues generally by high standards. But if we are con- 
sidering an ideal Government, the position of a democracy 
elected by mere weight of numbers is weak. If rulers 
acted on the immediate will of the people, based as it so 
often is upon inadequate information, there would be little 
justice in the world. 


Fortunately, rulers do not do so in practice. Everywhere 
— in democracies and dictatorships alike — ^rulers try to dis- 
cover a compromise betw^een what the people want and 
what it is expedient or possible to give them. 

There have been two purely Fascist elections, in 1928 
and 1934. On each occasion the Syndicates throughout 
Italy submitted a list of 1,000 names, from which the 
Fascist Grand Council selected 400 names in a proportion 
fixed by law between agriculture, industry, commerce, 
transport, banking, the arts, etc. Another 200 names were 
submitted by bodies representing teachers, civil servants, 
ex-service men, etc. The 600 names thus chosen — names 
of Fascists chosen by Fascists — were submitted to the 
electorate as a single list. The electorate consisted of every 
adult male producer or State pensioner. In each election 
the Government list was voted by majorities of over 95 
per cent. 

I do not suggest that these elections showed that 95 per 
cent of Italians agreed with everything that Mussolini said 
and did; but they did reflect — most certainly — the will of 
the people, which was, and is, that Fascism should continue 
in power. Under the new system the new Chamber will be 
automatically supplied with fresh Councilors, who have 
risen, through election in the local Syndicates, to the seats 
of the mighty in Rome. 

In the event of the death or resignation of the Head of 
the Government, it is the duty of the Fascist Grand Coun- 
cil to submit a list of names (said at present to be three) to 
the King, who will choose the person whom he considers 
most suitable as Mussolini's successor. 

"And what of the Press?" the reader will ask. The Press 
is certainly controlled by the Ministry of Popular Culture 
(not so strictly controlled as is believed in England; still, 
controlled). An intelligent Englishman or Frenchman, if 


he is prepared to spend a great deal of time in reading, 
can weigh conflicting views on foreign affairs; but so 
can an intelHgent Italian, with little more trouble. And 
your Englishman or Frenchman, however intelligent he 
may be, cannot expect to be in possession of Cabinet 
secrets. Many things cannot be discussed in public, even 
in a democracy. In Italy and Germany, which are both 
full of tourists at all seasons, and where foreign news- 
papers (English, American, French, Swiss) are on sale in 
all large and many small towns, it would be impossible 
to keep the people ignorant of what is happening in Eu- 
rope, and they are not, in fact, ignorant. The average 
Italian knows more of foreign affairs than the average 
Englishman. Far more foreign newspapers are on sale in 
a provincial city of Italy than in a similar English town. 
Moreover, there are at least five daily newspapers in Italy 
which are controlled by the Pope, not by the Duce, and 
these are often critical of Fascism; for the Roman Church 
is an international power with increasing influence in the 
democracies of the world. Of these newspapers, the chief 
is the Osservatore Romano, published from the Vatican 

The suggestion which one so often hears, in Liberal 
circles, that the Italians are being duped has no founda- 
tion in fact. I know the Italians, for I was not only born 
among them, but a hill-woman of the Apennines was 
my foster-mother, and I know how critical they are, and 

•During Hitler's visit to Rome the Osservatore never mentioned the presence 
of the Germans at all. The Vatican had closed all its museums and picture- 
galleries to mark its displeasure. On the day of Hider's state entry I read the 
following under Notes of the Day: "Jesus Christ comes to the Altar under the 
veil of the Eucharist without any apparatus of majesty. Our Lord seems to seek 
out the lowly, and is regardless of His honor. In the day of judgment how we 
shall repent of having lived near so much love without having given it due 
regard." The only other comment I noticed was oblique: it was a note recording 
the anniversary of the sack of Rome by the Visigoths! 


always have been, of their rulers. Mussolini is loved as a 
representative Italian; the country is proud of his vi^it, wis- 
dom, energy, audacity, and of his influence on the world; 
but he would come crashing from his high estate if he 
became incapable or even very unlucky. The Italians are 
less easily fooled than any other race in Europe (except, 
perhaps, the Greeks), and they would never endure for 
long a Government that did not represent the will of the 

The average Englishman seems incapable of believing 
this. He cannot get the idea out of his head that the 
Italians would really like to be governed as the English 
are, and that Fascism is an unfortunate mistake, due to 
foreigners being an inferior people. He will not see that 
people organized in occupational groups can express their 
views and manage their affairs as freely as people organ- 
ized in geographical groups. When a minority holds the 
balance of power in a democratic Parliament, you have 
the rule of a faction, whether it be the rule of Socialists, 
or the rule of financiers, or an unholy alliance of both. 
Anyway, it no longer represents the real will of the 

Fascism has come to stay. Changes there will be, as in 
all human institutions, but it is most unlikely that during 
this century Italians will ever again elect representatives on 
a geographical basis or depart very far from the principles 
of the Corporate State. 

A modern dictator, we must remember, is far from 
being all-powerful. Even Mussolini cannot do what he 
likes in Italy; he can only move with the support of public 
opinion. In the early years of his regime he wanted to 
reorganize the army, but had to withdraw the measure 
he contemplated, owing to the criticism it aroused. He 
also wanted to tighten up the legislation against small- 


game shooting, but discovered that it would be too un- 

Yet in the land where St. Francis lived, and where 
Garibaldi died listening to the song of a bird, love of 
animals is general. It is true that beasts of burden are 
frequently overworked, but under Fascism conditions have 
improved. Mussolini has declared that "consideration for 
birds and beasts is one of the noblest characteristics of a 
country."*" In his biography he tells of his sorrow at being 
parted from a siskin which he had to leave at his father's 
house. Often he used to release the traps set by bird- 
fanciers near Predappio. Since coming to power he has 
stopped the netting of quails, protected nightingales, lim- 
ited the shooting of larks. 

Certainly Mussolini cannot go in advance of the will 
of the people. At the beginning of the Abyssinian War 
the people were half-hearted toward it. ("We want work, 
not another war," was the opinion very freely expressed.) 
And it was only when sanctions were imposed that every 
man, woman, and child rallied to Mussolini. Especially the 

A working woman of my acquaintance, shrewd, semi- 
literate, but well informed through conversation on a level 
rarely reached by similar individuals in England (the ma- 
jority of Italians of all classes are interested in politics and 
know something about them), said to me in the summer 
of 1936: "Of course we want to be friends with England. 
We always have been. But I hope you won't try to starve 
us again; that was an ugly business." 

It was an ugly business. Italy's Abyssinian adventure 
requires a chapter to itself, which will not be written by 
me, for I deplored Mussolini's methods at the beginning 
of the dispute, and our own methods afterwards. We said 

* In issuing a decree for the protection of wild-life in Capri in 1929. 


that we would support Abyssinia, admittedly only through 
the League of Nations, but we were never prepared to 
fight on behalf of Geneva. Nor was anyone else. The plain 
fact is that we had all promised to do things which we 
had no real intention of performing. As to sanctions, let us 
not forget that they operate primarily on the weak and 
the poor. Is it more merciful to try to starve a whole 
people than to bomb an open city? My friend had no 
doubt that bombs are preferable to the unseen pressure of 
unseen forces. She had no doubt, also, that these unseen 
forces — the "J^^aeo-Masonic combine," as she had already 
begun to call them in 1936 — came into action against Italy 
during the Abyssinian war. 

"Not until Italy is self-supporting will we feel safe," she 
said. "We'll stand on our own feet. We shall never be able 
to trust any foreign nation, except when we are strong 
enough not to need help." 

"Even the Germans?" I suggested. 

"Certainly not the Germans," she replied. (I quote her 
words without comment.) "There is no honesty in inter- 
national affairs. But here we have an honest Government. 
An honester Government, anyway, than any other I can 
remember. Mussolini is bravo. He sees to it that the officials 
don't eat at the expense of the poor. The Fascists have 
done much for us poor people, and we shall never go back 
to former ways. When I was a girl . . ." And the old lady 
became reminiscent. 

Indeed, the Fascists have done much for Italy,* whose 

* Among other things, they have made her too proud to bilk the stranger. 
Not all Italians are saints in this respect (far from it), but on my last visit to 
Rome I left my pocketbook containing i,ooo lire {{,10) in a restaurant. It 
was returned to me intact. On the same evening I hailed a taxi, telling the driver 
to take me to a nevi^spaper office: he replied that it was not worth my while to 
drive, as it was in the next street. Throughout Italy there is now much less bar- 
gaining in shops and much less tiresome tipping in hotels than there used to be. 


soil was never, until recently, considered capable of sup- 
porting its philoprogenitive people. Before the Great War 
the pressure v^as relieved by emigration: 325,000 left 
Italy in 1900, and a rising number each subsequent year 
until the peak was reached in 1913, with 872,000 emi- 
grants. After the war the exodus continued, at the rate 
of about half a million a year, until the United States 
and Canada closed their gates in 1921. To-day Italy, 
with almost double our birthrate, has to provide out of 
her resources for her growing population (she had 984,866 
babies last year, this being an excess of 375,285 births 
over deaths), and she is proud of what she has achieved 
in this respect. So proud that she wants her emigrants 

We hear little of the constructive activities of Fascism, 
and much of its dangerous ambitions. Let us, however, 
look also on its credit side. . . . First, the colonization of 
Libya is an immense experiment in mass-migration. In 
nine ships, carrying 2,000 each, the pioneers sailed for 
Tripoli, where they were met by Marshal Balbo. On 
their farms, ready built for them, they found all house- 
hold necessities, draught animals, forage, a plow, a 
harrow, and other tools. Their fields had been plowed 
for them, and seed was provided by the Settlement 

In hwc years' time these 2,000 families — 18,000 people — 
will enter into possession of their farms, and in 25 years 
(if all goes well) they will have repaid all loans, and will 
be masters of their land instead of half-croppers. 

In 1939, and again in 1940, another 3,000 families — say 
25,000 people each year — will carry forward Rome's peace- 
ful conquest of the desert. 

Nearer home, the Bonifica Integrale (Integral Land 
Reclamation Scheme) has gained an equal if not a greater 


success. I first saw the Pontine Marshes, near Rome, in 
190 1, when they were vast swamps, picturesque enough, 
but sinister and malarious. 

In prehistoric times the Volscians had drained and cul- 
tivated this territory, but when they were conquered (or 
because diey contracted malaria?) they lost heart and dug 
no more: their canals filled, and the water in them stag- 
nated. Since those far-off days the reclamation of the 
Pontine Marshes was often considered and sometimes 
attempted. Julius Caesar might have succeeded in carry- 
ing out the vast labors necessary, had not the dagger of 
Brutus crossed his plans; after him no Pope or Emperor 
had the strength for the task, until Mussolini. Napo- 
leon's engineers attempted the task, but failed. And 
now, where buffaloes used to wallow, corn is growing; 
where bullfrogs croaked there is now the laughter of 

At the lovely old Renaissance castle of Ninfa, some 
twenty miles from Littoria, you can still see what these 
swamps were like before the Black Shirts drained 
them. They are beautiful, but better to look at than to 
live in: in other parts, where the Bonifica has been 
at work, the mists over the marshes have parted, reveal- 
ing churches, assembly-halls, cinemas, shops, market 
gardens, flowers, trim homesteads, new cities, new roads, 
150,000 acres won from the waste of Nature, now full 
of fertile crops, and inhabited by 3,000 sturdy peasant 

Circe, from the mountain where she turned the sailors 
into swine, looks down upon a thriving colony. Where 
Lucullus feasted on larks' tongues is now Sabaudia. 
Nearby are Littoria, Pontinia, Aprilia; and Pomezia is 
a-building. The age-old curse of malaria has been stamped 


out.* Fascism has done in ten years what twenty centuries 
of previous effort could not achieve. 

"Littoria has been spoken of as a miracle," said Musso- 
lini, when opening the first of these new cities. "There is 
no miracle; here we have your work, your tenacity, the 
splendid ability of our engineers and experts, my deter- 
mination, and the savings of the Italian people. The eco- 
nomic reconstruction of the world will be founded on rural 
values. The solid nations, the firm nations, are those which 
are based on the earth which bore them." Mussolini evolved 
his ideas from the soil, and gained his support from peas- 
ants who wanted to safeguard the fruits of their labor: 
Marx, on the other hand, evolved Communism in the 
reading-room of the British Museum: the writings of the 
two leaders reveal the sources of their inspiration: the one 
sunny, the other full of frowst. 

Fascism, too, is justly proud of its Dopolavoro (After- 
Work) organization, whose influence has reached to the 
remotest hamlets of Italy. Dopolavoro embraces lectures, 
skiing parties, legal advice, theatrical shows, vocational 
training, swimming, riding, bicycling, walking, the study 
of art, and the pleasures of gardening, everything, in short, 
which a worker may do or contemplate in his spare time. 
The Dopolavoro traveling theaters, known as the Cars of 
Thespis, were inaugurated in 1929, and have proved very 
successful. There are now four of them, giving some 
200 performances a year. The lyrical Car of Thespis car- 
ries seats for 3,000 people in the stalls; it is transported, 
complete with scenery and performers, in eight motor- 

There are 20,000 branches of the Dopolavoro movement, 
and 3,000,000 members. At a place like Portofino one sees, 

*Thc decline in malaria has been most marked throughout Italy. In 1921 
there were 4,848 deaths from malaria; in 1935 only 1,696. 


throughout the summer, parties of workers from Turin, 
Milan, and further afield arriving daily by the charabanc- 
load. Daily the great picture galleries of Italy receive their 
quota of workers. Daily the sportsmen and sportswomen 
from the factories arrive in the mountains. Last winter, 
on one day, there were 55,000 Dopolavoro workers out on 
skis. Every summer 10,000 certificates are issued to Auda- 
cious Cyclists, and 5,000 to Tireless Walkers. Dopolavoro 
has opened up new fields of recreation for Italian workers, 
taught them the pleasures of travel, and something of their 
rich artistic heritage. 

Under Fascist law no woman may be dismissed on mar- 
riage, and every woman worker is entitled to leave her 
work one month before the birth of a child, and to return 
one month after, during which time she is entitled to full 
wages. Employers are legally bound to provide a creche 
for the babies of their women workers; and in industries 
such as Snia Viscosa far more is done than is required 
by law. In its model villages the rents are progressively 
reduced on the birth of each child until a family with 
four children lives practically rent free. Employment is 
becoming hereditary: there are boys and girls whose 
acquaintance with Snia Viscosa began in its creches and 

Comparisons between the living conditions of workers 
of one country and another are notoriously difficult: there 
are peasants in Italy living on less than would support life 
in England; on the other hand I think the skilled worker 
is rather better off than he is in England. Personally, I 
should prefer the canteen dinner of a Fiat craftsman 
(soup, a cutlet, and salad, black coffee, half a pint of wine, 
and some fruit, costing lod.) to that of a similarly em- 
ployed Englishman, but these things are a matter of 

Judged by vital and by educational statistics the Italians 


are prosperous. The general death-rate has diminished from 
18.1 per 1,000 in 1922 to 13.9 per 1,000 in 1935. Deaths from 
tuberculosis have been halved in ten years. Infant mortality 
has been reduced by 30 per cent in the same period. Last 
year the regime sent over 800,000 poor children to the sea- 
side or to the Alps. Expenditure on education has risen 
from ;r9,ooo,ooo a year in 1922 to ;/^ 17,000,000 in 1935. 
The 40-hour v^eek and a Saturday half-holiday in industry 
v^ere introduced by the Fascist Regime five years ago: the 
latter used to be called "Sabato Inglese," but has now 
become ''Sabato Fascista." 


Of all foreigners, the British are the most popular in 
Italy: even the proverb "Inglese italianato e diavolo incar- 
nato" shows an affectionate understanding of our eccen- 
tricities. "The most spontaneous demonstration I have ever 
seen in Rome," an experienced journalist told me, "after 
that of the crowds who cheered the fall of Addis Ababa, 
occurred when Mussolini announced the signature of the 
Anglo-Italian Gentleman's Agreement." 

When the guns began to boom to welcome Herr Hitler 
on his arrival in Rome, I was standing opposite the Colos- 
seum. Suddenly it sprang into a wildfire of orange flame: 
it glowed as if with the faith of martyrs: every archway 
was blazing and belching smoke. 

Horse-guards trotted between the torches which lit the 
two thousand years of history of the Via dell'Impero, 
and the red light from the Colosseum glinted on the steel 
of helmets and cuirasses. Following the troopers came 
the King-Emperor and the German Chancellor in an open 
victoria. The cheers were cordial, but no more. "Ce peuple 
menchante," said a French journalist: "Us ont un sens de 
theatre ravissant." True. It was a page out of the fairy-tale 
of Fate that this enemy corporal of twenty years ago should 


drive in triumph through the Arch of Constantine; but it 
was a formal page. . . . 

How different the scene when Mr. Neville Chamberlain 
arrived! Rome took him to her heart in a way she does to 
few of the mighty of the earth. The Eternal City is nat- 
urally rather blase about distinguished visitors; but Cham- 
berlain became instantly "il nostro Shamberlaino." The 
reaction of the public surprised even those Italians who 
look on England as their second country. "He's a man I 
want to kiss/' cried a fat lady in the crowd. Nobody told 
people to wait for hours in the streets to see him. There 
were no loud-speakers to reenforce the cheers and clap- 
ping. . . . Stimulating it is to think that of all the pomps 
and triumphs which Rome has seen, this simple visit should 
have been one of the most striking. 

The previous May I had seen ninety submarines submerg- 
ing in the Bay of Naples. The background was Vesuvius, 
smoking lazily over the loveliest seascape in the world. 
Down went the submarines. ... It made one catch one's 
breath to think of the two thousand men on board, sink- 
ing down among the dolphins, among the inquisitive 
dolphins who were plunging about between the battle- 
cruisers. And I thought — as we were intended to think — 
what an ugly business modern war is, especially a naval 
war in these narrow seas. 

For five minutes the submarines remained invisible, then 
they rose simultaneously and fired a salvo. It was a 
maneuver never before attempted, and it was perfectly 
performed. Indeed, the whole review went forward with- 
out a hitch, from the moment when the Cavour slid out 
from the quayside, her guns gleaming in the brilliant sun, 
to the climax of the mass attack by motor boats as sunset 
fell upon the "wine-dark sea." Overhead great bombers 

On board the Rex^ itself a very sizable piece of Italian 


propaganda, for she is one of the smartest of the Trans- 
atlantic greyhounds, the pageant of Roman society passed 
before my eyes. Is it in compliment to Germany that so 
many Italian women now bleach their hair and use the 
fatal henna shampoo — fatal, because it takes the natural 
gloss out of woman's glory? I doubt it. More probably the 
hairdressers are responsible. I wish Fascism, when it con- 
centrates on social reform (as it is doing by urging people 
to say "vol" (you) instead of using the roundabout 
honorific of the third person) would concentrate also on 
flatter heels, less make-up, simpler hairdressing: such fash- 
ions would well become the fine athletic girls whom a 
traveler sees nowadays walking in the mountains and sun- 
bathing on the beaches of Italy. 

Next day, again on the Via dellTmpero, I witnessed a 
review of 35,000 troops. Herr Hitler arrived with the King 
and Signor Mussolini, the latter remaining in the back- 
ground during the plaudits of the crowd. 

The goose-step is something sacred to a German. To an 
Italian the Passo Romano, as Mussolini calls it, is an amus- 
ing new dance-step. Mussolini kept gesticulating to the 
band opposite, beating time to the rhythm of the drums. 
Sometimes, when there was a gap between the detachments 
passing before the reviewing stand, a scowl passed over his 
mobile face, but it was only a passing cloud. When the 
Bersaglieri came by, at a jog-trot, with their green plumes 
waving, rapture lit his eyes. 

The Italians to-day are a nation in arms, well mechan- 
ized, well drilled. In the air they may be even stronger 
than we think. Her pilots are magnificent. (But so are 
ours, and no war can be won by air-power alone.) If this 
pageant of the dictators was a rehearsal for a German- 
Italian combination against the democracies, then there are 
certain features in the situation which are comforting from 
our point of view. 


Italy is in a poor position to withstand a blockade. 
Coal and oil she must have, and could not obtain except 
from Germany, who would presumably be engaged else- 
where. Spain's attitude in any Mediterranean adventure 
would be at least doubtful. The ports and great cities 
of Italy are extremely vulnerable, and her fleet could not 
withstand the navies of France and Britain. The electri- 
fication of her railways, while a boon to tourists, is a 
danger in wartime, for a single bomb can put a long 
stretch of line out of action. Her people have no desire 
to fight the English. And an imponderable factor is the 
most important of all: Italians and Germans would be 
uncomfortable allies. 

If a world war broke out Italian soil would be occupied 
by the Germans, if not by enemies. Her large tourist in- 
dustry would perish. She would almost certainly lose her 
colonies, and her people would not forever "believe, obey, 

As regards Tunisia, "protected" by France fifty-seven 
years ago, there is no reason why the Italian majority there 
should not receive more favorable treatment, especially 
in the matter of schools and in the right to use the Italian 
language in the law courts. As regards the Suez Canal 
administration, whose board consists of nineteen French 
directors, ten British, two Egyptians, and one Dutchman, 
it would be fair to include Italians, considering that they 
are now the second largest users of the Canal. In Jibuti 
there should certainly be a free zone, and the French will 
be unreasonable if they refuse to sell a railway which 
runs for more than half its length through what is now 
Italian territory, and only carries passengers and goods to 

Undoubtedly Italy was badly treated in the Peace 
Treaties. Reasonable concessions it would have been wise 
to make to gain her goodwill. Bisogna essere forte: 


bisogna essere sempre piu forte ("We must be strong: 
we must be ever stronger"). The motto meets you at 
every turn, in almost every village throughout the king- 
dom. Italy is stronger than she has been for a thousand 
years; but are such slogans signs of warlike ardor? Our 
Elizabethans had no need of them when they went out 
to singe the King of Spain's beard. Mussolini knows his 
history. He is not anxious for a "lightning attack," 
or any conflict, if it can be avoided. He knows full 
well that his Corsican hero tried to fight a dozen short 
wars, and ended in St. Helena. He will not imitate 

During the 1938 crisis in Czecho-Slovakia we listened to 
the radio every night, our host and his family, a chance 
peasant, and our two selves. Chamberlain's voice came 
faintly among the crags of the Apennines. Hitler's 
speeches were mixed with static. Mussolini made the 
crowd talk back to him. "We are on our feet!" he cried. 
{''Lead us forwardr) "We are a State!" {''An Empirel") 
"We are strong by land, and sea, and in the air, as we 
never were." {Rapturous applause.) "I wish that certain 
melancholy strangers, abashed by our success, could be 
present here and listen to your acclamations, which have 
the strength of a storm or a cyclone! They ought to tear 
up their useless documents and recite an act of contrition, 
because, my comrades, one of the gravest ills of the world 
to-day is the spate of lies with which it is flooded. 
Foreigners preferred the Italy of another day" {laughter) 
"because for those foreigners, whom we have every right 
to despise, the people of Italy existed only to please or 
interest them. All that is over." {^'Yes, yes, for ever!'') 
"We prefer to be feared. The hate of others we exchange 
with hate! The world will have to reckon with Fascist 
Italy: strong, willful, warlike Italy! Other peoples during 
this crisis have had their ups and downs; we have not lost 


our calm. If we were called upon to fight, we would 
not hesitate a moment!" {"Now! now! We are 

"We marched to Rome. In the years which followed 
we have marched from Rome!" (^'We are marching!") 
"Nobody has been able to arrest that movement, and no 
power on earth can stop us!" 

Italians are grand actors. They delight in hearing Mus- 
solini in this mood, and respond to it with great quick- 
ness and vivacity. 

I once saw the late Queen of Italy arrive unexpectedly 
in Portofino. She strolled toward the end of the peninsula, 
and was away about three-quarters of an hour. By the 
time she had returned the nuns of the local orphanage 
had organized a reception. A child of ^Nt stepped out 
upon the piazza, and, as the Queen arrived, she curtsied, 
presented her with a bouquet, and, without a stammer or 
a blush, recited an ode beginning: 

O Regina Bella, 
Margherita d'ltalial 

There are times, as I have said, when the Italians are 
dumb and grim. The Czecho-Slovak crisis was not one of 
them. In spite of many statements to the contrary which 
I have read, I assert that Italy did not mobilize. She 
would certainly have fought with Germany in the event 
of a European war, but she did not expect that Berlin 
would bomb London in order (if you please!) to enter 
Prague. Mussolini had taken the measure of the Red 
Horse of Troy. 

As we were leaving our inn, the children of our host — 
Nino, Eva, Irma, Carla, and Maria-Lucia — stood sadly by 
the car. The hotel cat, prescient of departures, as cats so 
often are, looked at us, turned its back, and began to play 
with an autumn leaf. "It will be lonely without you," the 


children said. "But you will be back soon — in the spring! 

Of course we should soon be back! We knew it for 
certain when in Genoa a friend of mine told us that there 
were no gas-masks or searchlights ready. It was Sep- 
tember 27th, 1938. "Why has the British Fleet mobil- 
ized?" he asked us. "What are we going to fight 
about?" . . . 

Now we know what we may have to fight about. It is 
the road to the East, and the existence of our Empire, 
which will certainly be challenged if we block all attempts 
at expansion by the dictatorship powers. 

Mussolini and Hitler, and their peoples, have still a 
wholesome respect for the British. They are genuinely 
(and to my mind legitimately) alarmed at our attempts 
to bring the U.S.S.R. into European poHtics, but they do 
not want to measure their strength with ours if it can be 

There is no use complaining of the past, or even of the 
present disturbers of the peace. The dictators are not 
criminals for thinking that they could manage the British 
Empire better than we can; but events may prove that 
they have been very gravely mistaken. German organiza- 
tion is so complicated that it is always tying itself into in- 
extricable knots, and in the event of war Germany and 
Italy are likely to fall foul of each other, and the Balkan 
countries. But if there is to be another conflict democracy 
will certainly lose, for we shall have to change our system. 

-^'^'>^-$^->^'^->»'»>->»'>^'^^^^C^^$€'^» ^i^^^^^i^4^^ri^<i^ 


Hitler's Germany 


T WAS on a beautiful estate in the Rhineland, belonging 
to a cousin of mine by marriage, that I learned, in my 
susceptible teens, how kind and good the Germans can 
be, and so often are. 

Daily I used to bicycle to Coblenz for a language les- 
son and an hour of haute ecole. I had loved horses ever 
since childhood, but I had none of the graces of horse- 
manship. This German riding-school was a new and fas- 
cinating aflPair for me. 

"Wie ein junger Gott, Herr Brown!" my instructor used 
to say, throwing out his chest and showing me how he 
made his chestnut stallion passage across the tan-dust of 
the school. The smell of horse-sweat, the shafts of sunlight 
I used as markers, the magnificent mustaches of my 
teacher, and the glory of the springy-patterned thorough- 
breds he used to ride, come back to me across the years 
with the freshness of yesterday. 

During the autumn maneuvers in the Rhineland in 
1902 my host kept open house for his army friends. 
Among them I met a captain of Uhlans, who intro- 
duced me to that delectable mixture of Rhine wine and 
wild strawberries called boule. With him I talked much 
of horses, and wine, and war. Those were the days when 
mounted brigades — even divisions — were maneuvered in 
mass, and keen cavalrymen believed that battles would be 
won by "cold steel" and "shock action." My friend showed 
me the German lance, which was larger and heavier 
than the British. Machine-guns were still considered 



"troublesome and expensive toys." We both thought war 
inevitable, since the Germans and English v^ere too big 
to inhabit the earth together, but it made no difference 
to our friendship. We thought the v^ar, v^hen it came, 
v^ould be an affair of a few weeks, or at most of a few 
months. And there, are still lunatics holding the same 
views. . . . 

This Rhineland of 1902 was very clean, very prosperous, 
proud, polite; a wonderful country, as it still is. One 
took off one's hat on entering a shop. After lunch one 
bowed to the lady of the house, saying "Mahlzeitr The 
Uhlan taught me to stand as stiff as a poker and click 
my heels. 

On the evening of the last day of the great maneuvers, 
at which the Kaiser had been present, I sat with my 
Uhlan in a restaurant at a table adjoining that of some 
dozen resplendent Death's Head Hussars, who clinked 
their colored glasses to Der Tag. . . . 

That night, before I left for England, I translated 
Geibel's Rheinsage: 

Am Rhein, am grilnen Rheine, 
Das ist so mild in dcr Nacht, 
Die Rebenhiigel lie gen 
In goldner Mondespracht. . . . 

By Rhine, the verdant Rhine, 
So mild in evening light. 
Under a golden moon 
The vineyards lie at night. 

And far to Aachen's nave 
Come scents of fruit and vine, 
Deep to the Kaiser's grave. 
To stir him in his shrine. 

Then on the grape-hills green, 
Girt by a mighty sword, 
With crown, and crimson shift, 
A tall ghost goes abroad. 


It is Karl, the Kaiser, 

He whose almighty hand 

For centuries untold 

Has ruled this German land. 

By Rudesheim there sparkles 
Athwart the river spread, 
A path of moonlit gold 
For royal feet to tread. 

The shadow crosses slow, 
And slow, to shrive the math, 
Karl passes through the land 
With blessings in his path. 

Then turns he back to Aachen 
And sleeps unseen by men 
Till woke at harvest-home 
By scent of grapes again. 

# # # 

While I was a prisoner of war in Turkey I met various 
types of German officer. One, a big-bellied commissariat 
captain, spoke vauntingly of what Germany would do 
"after Hindenburg had smashed the English on the 

"Don't imagine we are going to invade England," said 
this Falstaff of a fellow. "You will be quite free to have 
the sort of government you like, provided you hand over 
your fleet and dismantle your building yards. We won't 
let you starve, even though you have been trying to starve 
us. In fact, we'll lend you money to buy food; for you 
won't be quite so rich without your Empire." 

But Falstaff, and some others, never effaced my first im- 
pressions. What is written upon the mind of boyhood 
remains, and I cannot think of Germans except as friends. 

# :i^ # 

I saw the slump of currency in Munich in 1923, and 
spent a few hundred thousand marks at Papa Benz's, then 


a very amusing night club. In Berlin things were more 
serious. The mark slumped to a million to the pound, 
then live million, and did not stop. Fantastic days for me, 
but terrible for those who saw the savings of a lifetime 
disappear in a few days or a few hours. Days for adven- 
turers, speculators, ruthless bandits of the Bourse. 

# # :^ 

I returned in 1929, and again in 1932 on both occasions 
as a journalist. 

A philosophy is being built up around National Socialism (I 
wrote) which will not be shaken by the sneers of intellectuals; to 
me, spending an hour at the Nazi headquarters in the Hedemann- 
strasse, not interviewing officials, but loitering about, watching the 
buyers in the bookshop, officials passing in and out, the children in 
the street saluting their heroes, it seemed obvious that here is a move- 
ment based on something more than promising everything to every- 

It is a movement in tune with the popular will. The German peo- 
ple have been living on the brink of ruin for the last fifteen years. 
Hitler promises them a way out: eventually they will go his way 
rather than towards Communism. 

Berlin North made my blood run cold. Drinking my Pilsener and 
looking at a horse-meat sausage in a certain red-lighted tavern, I 
noticed that only at our table was anything being served. Around 
us sat comely young people, some with the angelic mien of the Goth, 
others dark-haired, eager-eyed. Everyone present was there to sell his 
or her body. We may wince at the words, but what of the straits to 
which these children are being driven by hunger? I do not know how 
many drug-sellers and inverts there may be in Berlin to-day, but the 
general opinion is that there are more there than have ever before 
been assembled, in any city, at any time in history. 

Some failure in civilization has made this possible. Everyone in the 
land who is young and unemployed and hungry — millions of boys 
and girls — feels that his spirit is being stifled in the toils of big busi- 
ness, reparations, and international finance. If I were a young German 
I should be a Nazi. 

Nor will Berlin West reassure the sensitive observer: he will see 
wealth there, but it is a neo-Neronian fiddling and feasting — negro 
music, bare white backs, orange lips carried to bubbling wine, foun- 


tains and flower gardens in cubist restaurants, rich food, table tele- 
phones, paunchy men with cigars saying that given time, the wheel 
of prosperity must come full circle. If I were a waiter at a fashionable 
place of this kind I should join any party that promised to extermi- 
nate the idle rich. 

And yet the mass of the people are patient. I visited a very poor 
family in the Communist quarter: the man had been unemployed 
for a year; his allowance had continued to diminish until now he 
was in receipt of 30s. a week for himself, his wife, and nine children. 
They were living in two small rooms. Three cabbages for their daily 
meal of soup were simmering in a cauldron. A home-made wireless 
set stood on the only table. In a window-box some thirsty asters and 
a wilted geranium proclaimed that the constant struggle against over- 
crowding and poverty had not yet defeated the family, as I have 
sometimes seen a family defeated in our slums. They seemed to have 
hope. They believed that things would come right. I asked the wife 
if she was a Communist. 

"Why do you suggest that?" she inquired suspiciously. 

My guide explained. "She thinks that the private relief she is re- 
ceiving may be cut off if she talks politics." I was sorry I had asked 
the question. 

Presently she fetched her husband, who was nursing a sick child 
in the adjoining room. "I come of a family that has always served in 
the Army," he said, "and I served the whole four years of the War. 
I voted for the Social Democrats last time, but what do these parties 
mean? They don't bring us any food. I want a dictatorship, or the 
Kaiser to come back." 

The previous day I had been to a large literary tea-party in one of 
the most beautiful parts of Berlin. Thinking over our conversation 
there, I feel now that so must the Romans have talked at Her- 

Volcanic forces are close to us in every one of the capitals of 
Europe. If we neglect them, dally with palliatives, pursue the dan- 
gerous delusions of internationalism instead of the more laborious 
path of national prosperity, our too-comfortable, too-sententious civi- 
lization will be overwhelmed by the fiery ashes of revolution, and it 
will serve us right. 

How well I remember that tea-party! The lovely gar- 
den, the well-fed people, the cakes and coflee and iced 
champagne cup, and my hostess saying "Hitler? A house- 
painter! He's trying to climb to power on the shoulders 
of von Papen!" 


Do people ever look back on their lives and reflect that 
they may be as w^rong in their present opinions as they 
v^ere in their past beliefs? Cromwell did, when he wrote 
to a friend entreating him "in the bowels of Jesus Christ" 
to consider whether he might not be mistaken. So did 
Darwin, who was always alive to the possibility of error 
in his work. While writing The Origin of Species he ob- 
served that facts which ran counter to his theory were 
quickly forgotten by him, while those confirming it were 
always present in his mind; so every month he carefully 
wrote down everything that did not tally with the Theory 
of Evolution, and kept the list constantly before him. 
Would that such integrity were commoner. 

Until the Machtangreifung, the question of the Polish 
Corridor seemed to be leading straight to war, as it seems 
to be again, while these lines are being written. We must 
hope that once more appearances are deceptive. Under the 
Weimar Republic nothing permanent could have been 
arranged with Poland, but Hitler very quickly made a 
ten-year pact with Marshal Pilsudski. Colonel Beck was 
one of Pilsudski's friends, and carries on his tradition. 
Undoubtedly he is one of the cleverest diplomats in 
Europe. He knows the methods of the Comintern from 
A to Z, and may have convinced our Government of 
the impossibility of making the Communists fight our 

If the National Socialists had not come to power it is 
conceivable that the Germans might have turned to Com- 
munism, with fatal results for Europe. As Stalin wrote to 
a German Jew in 1923: 

Dear Comrade Thalheimer: The coming revolution in Germany 
is the most important world event to-day. The victory of the pro- 
letariat will, without doubt, move the center of world revolution 
from Moscow to Berlin. 


It is difficult to imagine such things, but few men in 
1923 imagined the history of Adolf Hitler. There has 
never been a more romantic age than this, which has 
witnessed the rise of Masaryk, Ataturk, Mussolini, and 
Hitler; and the story of Hitler is, perhaps, the strangest 
of them all."^ 

Can we put any faith in this extraordinary man who 
has 80,000,000 Germans behind him, better armed, better 
led, more fully organized, and until lately more united 
than ever before for military conquest or commercial 
penetration? To-day obviously we cannot. "Is it peace, 
Jehu?" Europe asks, and Jehu, driving his Volkswagen, 
answers: "What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy 
mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?" 

But Hitler is a great man, whatever his failings. He 
would never have won his present position in Germany, 
or kept it with his unquestioned ascendancy over cleverer 
and more educated colleagues, unless he had been great 
in spirit. Most people who meet him feel this quality. 
Thomas Hardy, with his poet's insight, said that "the 
truly great have no middling ledge; they are either famous 
or utterly unknown." Hitler is famous, and possibly the 
most menacing figure in the modern world. He may be 
our enemy, although he declares the contrary in Mein 
Kampf, which anti-Nazis declare gives his plan of action 
for the future. It is foolish, anyway, to underestimate 
an enemy. Whether we love or hate him, we should re- 
member that he is the incarnation of a wronged and legi- 
timately-indignant Germany. 

I have met many of the notable figures of the world, 
but only Gandhi and T. E. Lawrence gave me the sense 
which Hitler does of inner strength and Franciscan 
simplicity. All three were ascetics. Complete sexual 

* See Appendix III. 


abstinence would presumably bring the world to an 
end if adopted by mankind at large, but practiced by 
rare people like Hitler it gives them magnetism and 

"Practiced" is the wrong word. Hitler is utterly unself- 
conscious. He lives for his mission, which is to regener- 
ate Germany. ("T. E." had real greatness, but he was 
curiously concerned with his own personality. Gandhi, 
drawn from the same social strata as Hitler, did not 
have the same hardening discipline.) Anti-Nazis say that 
Hitler's gifts are limited to "spell-binding": that he is a 
danger to the world because he is so limited, narrow- 
minded, incalculable. They may be right, and it is true 
that meeting Mussolini, for instance, one is immediately 
and powerfully impressed by his abilities, whereas meet- 
ing Hitler one does not feel — at least, I did not feel — in 
the presence of a powerful intellect. The impression he 
makes is psychic, and the reader is free to think I have 
been beglamored by his achievements when I say that 
when we shook hands I felt at once that I liked and 
trusted him. Recent events have proved me wrong, but 
the feeling he evoked is certainly not peculiar to myself: 
it is a spell he casts over almost everyone he meets, and at 
least nine-tenths of Germany. 

No doubt it is true that his education was neglected in 
youth, and cannot to-day be well-rounded. John Bunyan 
also had little scholarship, "and that," he tells us, "soon 
forgot." Gibbon was not a brilliant boy. Marconi was 
considered a dunce at school. These men had brains lying 
fallow. So had Hitler. A man who has built up National 
Socialism from half a dozen obscure individuals with no 
more money or education or influence than himself, meet- 
ing in the back room of a little beerhouse, must have 
mental as well as psychic power. 


In Munich I have seen the Sterneckerbrau, where he 
made his first speech, and the Biirgerbraukeller, in the 
suburbs, from whose hall he led his men, unarmed, 
through beflagged and cheering streets, to the Odeons- 
platz, where the demonstrators were mown down by 
machine guns. Hitler and the Nazi leaders were sixteen 
abreast, arm-in-arm, in the front rank of the marchers, 
trusting to the will of the people of Munich, who wanted 
them to come to power. 

Here we must turn aside for a moment to consider one 
of the many malicious insinuations made about the Ger- 
man Leader: that when the firing broke out on the 
Odeonsplatz he threw himself on his face and crawled 
away to cover. 

Hitler was arm-in-arm with a friend (Dr. von Scheub- 
ner-Richter), who was shot dead: as he fell he dragged 
Hitler down with him with such force that the latter 
dislocated his shoulder. To accuse him of cowardice be- 
cause he was not shot is ridiculous: he could not have 
known that the bullet that hit his friend would not find 
another billet. 

Eine Kugel kam geflogen 
Gilt's mir oder gilt's dir? 
Ihn hat es weggerissen, 
Er liegt mir vor den Fiissen, 
Als war's ein Stiick von mir. 

A bullet sped — to me? to thee? — 
He lies at my feet, a part of me. 

Hitler fell because he was linked to a dead body. Other 
revolutionaries have a habit of directing the masses from 
the rear, but the Nazis have always led their men from 
the front rank, ready to expose themselves, and to suffer. 

In Munich I have seen, also, many of Hitler's original 
notes for his early speeches. They are orderly, methodical. 


neatly written, bearing every mark of an original mind. 
What interested me chiefly was a group of files contain- 
ing notes on the Treaty of Versailles. No scholar pre- 
paring for a thesis could have organized his material 
more carefully than this lance-corporal with a taste for 
water-color sketches. The pages of the printed Treaty 
are cut out and pasted on sheets of blue foolscap. Each 
page is underlined in red and black, to bring the chief 
points to prominence. From certain paragraphs arrows 
lead to the margins, where Hitler has written cross-refer- 
ences ("reparations in cash, see p. 6" — "surrender of ship- 
ping, see p. 9," and so on) and prepared copious statis- 
tics, showing with what care he composed the speeches 
which his critics asserted contained nothing but sound 
and fury. He is a mystic, and, like all real mystics, he 
has a tenacious grasp of detail. These notes were made 
after he had discovered his oratorical powers. No doubt 
that was the turning-point in his career. 

Before 1919 his writing is that of a peasant, careful 
and laborious. Suddenly there is a change: his script be- 
comes more fluid, bolder: the writer is a man who has 
found his way in life, and knows his strength. 

How does he sway the masses? I have heard him many 
times, and have heard more fluent and more melodious 
voices, but never one that weaved such magic ties between 
the speaker and his audience. 

During the three-hour oration at the Kroll Opera House 
on February 20th, 1938, the whole speech was read, and 
read very quickly, with no pauses, except during the ap- 
plause. Even during a solid hour of statistics he kept 
everyone galvanized by the cadence of his sentences. Dur- 
ing the rhetorical passages his voice mounted to the pitch 
of delirium: he was a man transformed and possessed: 
we were in the presence of a miracle: lire might have 


fallen from heaven or the chandelier of the Opera House 
might have come crashing dov^n: the tension w^as al- 
most unbearable until the passionate voice w^as drov^ned 
by the cries of those v^ho listened: cries of suspense 

The delirium w^as real — Hitler v^as in a frenzy at these 
moments, but he w2ls able to create this atmosphere — 
this curious sense of collective hysteria — v^ithout losing his 
own self-control: vv^hatever his emotion, a steady hand 
turned the pages of his speech. He possesses that rarest 
of mental combinations, intense passion harnessed to a 
cool brain. 

This is part of the secret of Hitler's pov^er. Another is 
his intuition. He has a sense of things to come. "I have 
the security of a sleep-w^alker," he said, during the re- 
militarization of the Rhineland, vvhen half his generals 
v^ere expecting a French invasion. 

Finally, his power is based on his shrewd common- 
sense and judgment of character. Generally speaking, he 
has chosen his associates wisely. Inevitably, some of them 
have proved unworthy, but there has never been a revolu- 
tion with more loyalty among the leaders. 

To-day there is still loyalty among the Nazi chiefs, 
but the Party as a whole has gone back in popular favor. 
To some extent this is inevitable: even the cleverest prop- 
aganda has a boomerang effect. Moreover, some of the 
wisest heads in Germany, especially the Army heads, mis- 
trust Nazi ambitions. 

# # # 

In prison Hitler dictated Mein Kampf (originally called 
by the awkward title of Three and a Half Years' Strug- 
gle), in which he urges Germany to make friends with 
England, and to steel herself for a fight to the death 
with France. "In the annihilation of France, Germany 


sees the means for our nation to obtain full develop- 
ment in another direction. Almighty God, bless our 

If Mein Kampf is really the guide to Hitler's action, 
then friendship with England must be the keynote of 
his policy, for he emphasizes this again and again. "The 
only two possible allies for Germany are England and 
Italy." It is unfair, however, to extract sentences from a 
very long book, written fifteen years ago, and apply them 
to the politics of to-day, without considering the work as 
a whole. 

Hitler explained his policy to a French journalist on 
the eve of the Franco-Soviet pact: 

When I wrote Mein Kampf [he said], I was in prison. It was the 
time when French troops occupied the Ruhr district. I would despise 
myself if I were not a German first and foremost in moments of 
conflict. But to-day there is no reason any more for a conflict. You 
want me to correct my book, like a writer who edits a revised edition 
of his works. But I am not a writer; I am a politician. I do my cor- 
recting in my foreign policy itself, which is based on Franco-German 
understanding. I mean to enter my correction into the pages of history. 

I know what you think in France. You think, "Hitler makes dec- 
larations of peace to us, but is he really sincere?" Instead of solving 
psychological riddles, would it not be better if you would apply your 
famous French logic? Is it not an evident advantage to our two 
countries to enter into good relations? Would it not spell ruin for 
both countries if they clashed again on the battlefield? Is it not 
logical that I should strive for what is most advantageous to my 
country? And is it not peace which is most advantageous? 

My personal efforts towards such an understanding will continue. 
But this more-than-regrettable Pact would create a new factual situa- 
tion. Are you in France really conscious of what you are doing? You 
permit yourselves to be dragged into the diplomatic game of a Power 
which wants nothing but to throw the great European nations into 

You would be well advised to consider seriously my offers of 
understanding. Never has a German leader made you such frequent 
oflfers. I beg you to pay attention to what I am going to say now. 
There are final chances in the lives of nations. To-day France, if she 
will, can put an end forever to that "German Menace." You can 


cancel the terrible mortgage which weighs upon the history of 
France. You have before you a Germany nine-tenths of which have 
complete confidence in their leader, and that leader says to you: "Let 
us be friends!" 

Publication of this interview was deliberately delayed 
in Paris for a week, until the Franco-Soviet Pact had been 
ratified by the Chamber of Deputies. A week after that 
the reoccupation of the Rhineland came like a lightning 
stroke. Not that something of the kind was entirely un- 
expected, but when Germany marched 30,000 troops into 
the demilitarized zone, angry comments on the unilateral 
repudiation of treaties filled the Press of France and 
England. France was on the edge of war; but after 
all the territory occupied by the German troops was 

Can we blame Germany for tearing up the restrictive 
clauses of the Treaty of Versailles as soon as possible? 
Would we not have done the same ourselves, if placed in 
a similar position? With regard to disarmament, Ger- 
many had offered to limit her forces to 300,000 men, if 
others did the same. A whole series of concrete proposals 
were made, non-aggression pacts, air-pacts, etc., but the 
only agreement concluded was that with Great Britain, 
whereby Germany agreed to keep her Navy within a 
ratio of 35 per cent of ours. Hitler's reading of history 
had convinced him that anyone who threatened Eng- 
land's sea-power was bound to fight her, sooner or later, 
so he removed that obstacle to peace, in spite of serious 
opposition from his naval advisers. 

At that time he wanted to be friends with us. He may 
still do so. Sooner or later we shall have to come to an 
understanding with Germany, and that understanding will 
necessarily include a clear delimitation of spheres of in- 
fluence, in the Balkans and elsewhere. And we must, of 


course, support France against any unreasonable claims by 
the Axis Powers. 

I shall examine the French and Balkan positions in 
subsequent chapters. There is really nothing to prevent a 
reasonable settlement except the dread specter of suspi- 
cion. That is what is keeping all the world in suspense; 
and admittedly Hitler has given us cause for complaint. 
Let us reflect, however, on our reaction to things as they 
are. We cannot trust Hitler? Very well, are we therefore 
to attack him at once? It is a possible theory, and one 
popular with Communists. But if we are to exterminate 
everyone in Europe whom we consider untrustworthy we 
shall never be at peace again. 

Fortunately, there is an alternative to doing nothing. 
We can prepare, simultaneously, for both war and peace. 
War, if Germany transgresses certain limits; otherwise 
peace. The limits I shall discuss in due course: our con- 
tribution to reconciliation, if reconciliation is still possible, 
should be confined to two points: 

(a) In the event of normal relations being reestablished 
(as one day they must be) we should publish more in- 
formation about the laudable enterprises of National So- 
cialism. For years past our newspapers have selected for 
publication chiefly the evil they find in Germany. In the 
present state of tension this is understandable, even if it 
is not wise. But if we would be friends, we cannot for- 
ever maintain that Hitler's aggressive action in Bohemia — 
wrong as it was in our view, and probably from the stand- 
point of Germany's true interest — ^has put Hitler, or Ger- 
many, beyond the pale of civilized people. After all, we 
have seized many parts of the earth, and have governed 
many people against their consent. It will be necessary, 
one day, to do what we can to let our people know of 
the virtues rather than the vices of our cousins across the 
North Sea. It is sometimes said that dictators are unduly 


sensitive about foreign criticism, but surely they are en- 
titled to take notice of what is written in the newspapers 
of a democracy, considering that what is written influences 
the decisions of the electors? How are Germans to know 
what British Government will be in power next year? Of 
course, such efforts to promote better feeling could only 
operate in an atmosphere of confidence, which does not at 
present exist. 

{b) The colonial question will have to be settled. Ger- 
many's claim that she was "robbed of her possessions" is 
absurd. She lost them as a result of defeat in the Great 
War, and at the time vce victis seemed a reasonable prin- 
ciple to apply. But we are entitled to apply such a prin- 
ciple for one reason only, that Might is Right. It is a 
principle that Germany thoroughly understands, but with 
which we do not agree. If there is to be war, then obvi- 
ously the question does not arise: otherwise it must be 
solved, sooner or later. 

What are the objections to the return of the German 
colonies ? 

That they are held by the Powers concerned as man- 
dates from the League of Nations. Yes, but the League 
will do what we and the French suggest. We transferred 
these territories to the Mandatory Powers without con- 
sulting the natives, and can retransfer them. As a result 
of the Great War, we received 2,500,000 square miles of 
new territory, and 93,000,000 people. Some of these gains 
— if gains they be — ^we must give back. 

But the Germans cannot be trusted with subject peo- 
ples, after the way they have treated the Jews. Yes, but 
the Germans were commended for their administration of 
their colonies by many eminent English travelers. As to 
the Jews, the Germans reply that we — the champions until 
lately of self-determination — are filling the prisons of Pales- 


tine with Arabs whom we call "terrorists," but the rest 
of the world patriots. 

But Germany is planning to ma\e war, and colonial 
concessions will enable her to raise an African army. Yes, 
but if there is to be war between us, which God forbid, 
the issue will be decided in Europe, rather than in Africa. 
Further, territories in Africa would be hostages that Ger- 
many would give to fortune, knowing that if war broke 
out she would again lose them. As to colored levies, how 
can we or France object, when we both maintain such 
armies ourselves? 

But Germany only sent 20,000 colonists overseas before 
igi4. She cannot need her colonies for settlement; nor 
for trade, because her imports from her colonies were only 
3 per cent of her total inward trade in 1^14. And as re- 
gai'ds raw materials, she can buy what she wants from the 
Mandatory Powers at the same price as the Mandatory 
Powers themselves pay. Yes, but the Germans reply: "If 
colonies are useless, why do you want to keep them?" 
Before the war, Germany had ;r 3,000,000,000 invested 
abroad, and was able to use the income from these in- 
vestments to buy the raw materials she required. Versailles 
deprived her of all her foreign capital. What is the use 
of telling her to buy what she wants, when she has no 
gold to buy it with? 

Exports of raw materials from the former German col- 
onies amounted to about ;/^ 8,000,000 in 1935: Germans 
say that this amount could be trebled within ten years 
under Nazi administration, and would provide for three- 
quarters of Germany's total requirements of such mate- 
rials. It is clear that the effect of returning colonies to 
Germany would be to make her more self-supporting and 
more contented. Now, do we want Germany to be more 
self-supporting and more contented? If we do, then the 
return of territories to which our only claim is that we 


won the war is not too great a price to pay. Admittedly 
the poHtical difficulties would be serious, but not insur- 
mountable if thereby we could bring peace to Europe. 

Finally, Mr. Duff-Cooper tells us that Hitler is a "thrice- 
perjured traitor." To give colonies to such a scoundrel 
would be shameful. 

Certainly we must refuse to discuss anything with Herr 
Hitler in his present mood; and certainly to-day we must 
regard Germany as a potential enemy. But we cannot 
consider Germany as a permanent enemy: one day the 
Colonial question will again arise. Meanwhile we must 
remember that our own record is not perfect in the mat- 
ter of promises: history will not hold us guiltless of the 
present situation in Palestine. We should do well, also, 
to consider carefully and calmly the accusations made 
against Herr Hitler with regard to the Anschluss and 
Czecho-Slovakia. It is true that he said that he had no 
designs on the independence of Austria and then marched 
to Vienna with his army, and that he said that there 
would be "no more surprises," and soon afterwards pounced 
on the Sudetenland. But with regard to Austria, he came 
to an agreement with Herr Schuschnigg which was never 
kept by the latter. He had no intention of entering Aus- 
tria as a conquerer until Dr. von Schuschnigg foisted his 
faked plebiscite upon the people under circumstances which 
I describe below. As to Czecho-Slovakia, Herr Henlein, 
with the full approval of Herr Hitler, made an offer to 
Prague, in his Carlsbad speech of March, 1938, which pro- 
vided for the autonomy of the Sudetens in the Czecho- 
slovak Republic. These demands were entirely reasonable, 
and would have averted the crisis of September. They 
were rejected by Dr. Benes. Thereupon the Germans sup- 
ported their kinsmen, to free them from the domination 
of a Czech clique. 

Hitler does not hate England, but he must hate the 


kind of people who wanted to keep Austria "independent" 
and the Sudetens under Czech rule. They are the same 
people who told us that the Saar would never be so 
foolish as to vote for a return to Germany. What was 
this idea of nationality, they asked the Saarlanders, com- 
pared to the profits to be made from having an inter- 
national status ? 

The Saarlanders had every opportunity to learn the 
worst about Germany. Some of the cleverest propagandists 
in Europe were at work among them, telling them day 
by day how lucky they were not to be under the jack- 
boots of the Germans. And yet, surrounded by all pos- 
sible safeguards for a fair vote, the Saarlanders chose 
to rejoin Germany with an enthusiasm and unanimity 
which up to that time had never before been seen in 

It was the same in Austria. I was there during the 
Anschluss, and saw what happened. 

I was at Kitzbiihel on March 9th, 1938, when Dr. 
von Schuschnigg announced his famous plebiscite, to 
be held on Sunday, March 13th, in eighty-four hours' 

Next day news came to us of rioting in Innsbruck, the 
arming of Communist crowds in Vienna, and the death 
of four Austrian Nazis. 

An Austrian friend said to me: "I'm a business man, 
and I don't mix in politics more than I can help. I'm 
against the Nazis on the whole, but this plebiscite of 
Schuschnigg's is a ramp, and will lead to trouble." 

It was a ramp. No voting lists were ready. The ballot 
papers were marked "Ja," so that if the voter wanted to 
record "Nein," he had to bring with him a white sheet 
of paper, nine centimeters by six. It was expressly stipu- 
lated that the papers could be handed in either open or 
folded, so that it would have required no Sherlock Holmes 


at the polling booth to have discovered a voter's political 

In Kitzbuhel I picked up a Vaterland Front manifesto 
vi^hich ran: 

Deutsch sein, heisst frei sein! 

Deutsch sein, heisst treu sein! 

Ja oder Nein? 

Mit Schuschnigg fiir Osterreich 

Ja oder Nein? 


The intention to confuse the issue v^as clear: "Germans 
are free, Germans are loyal, therefore vote for Austria, and 
keep Schuschnigg in pov^er!" 

Dr. von Schuschnigg hoped to catch the Austrian Nazis 
napping, and relied on the readiness of the average man 
to vote for something v^hich seems to promise a quiet life, 
but he W2LS not very sure of his own plans, for he did not 
reveal them even to his ov^n Cabinet, but only to the 
Vienna correspondent of the Neu/ Yor\ Times. . . . 

On Monday, March 7th, at midday, a confidant of Dr. 
von Schuschnigg had approached Signor Mussolini v^ith 
an inquiry as to Italy's attitude tow^ard the plebiscite. 
Mussolini's immediate ansv^er v^as that it v^as a mistake. 
"This w^eapon w^ill explode in your hands," he said. 

Who could doubt it, know^ing the conditions in Austria? 
Who could doubt that my friend in Kitzbuhel was right, 
and that the plebiscite was a swindle? 

No one doubted it in Austria, or indeed anywhere in 
Europe, except in England. In England and America the 
public were told that the wicked Germans were trying to 
stir up trouble again. Even The Times, which is usually 
fair in its news, gave no indication of the fury aroused 
among moderate-minded Austrians, and commented as 
follows in its issue of March loth: "In Great Britain, 


public opinion is likely to welcome the plebiscite as the 
opportunity for the free vote of a free and independent 
people . . . the test in British eyes will be whether it is 
carried out fairly and peacefully, without pressure from 

The free vote of a free people! 

Austria's international status rested on the Treaties of 
Versailles and St. Germain, which laid down that the 
independence of Austria was inalienable except with the 
consent of the Council of the League of Nations. 

As long ago as November 12th, 1918, the Austrian 
National Assembly had declared unanimously that 
German Austria was an integral part of the German 
Republic. Clemenceau replied by threatening to occupy 
further territory across the Rhine unless this resolution 
was rescinded within a fortnight. Nevertheless, Dr. 
Dinghofer, in a speech to the Austrian Assembly, de- 
clared: "The idea of a greater Germany is not dead for 
us Germans of these provinces, and never, never will it 
die! Like a star glowing out of the darkness the hope 
beckons to us. In all the sorrow and all the care which 
now surround us, I still see glowing the hope of reunion 
with our Motherland." 

On April 24th, 1921, the Tyrol Diet held a plebiscite 
which gave 144,324 votes for union with the German 
Reich, and 1,794 against. 

On May 29th, 192 1, the Salzburg Diet held a similar 
plebiscite, which gave 103,000 votes for union, 800 against, 
and 200 invalid ballot papers. More than 90 per cent of 
the electorate went to the polls; and the result was almost 
exactly similar to that announced on April nth, 1938, 
seventeen years later — namely, more than 99 per cent in 
favor of reunion with Germany. 

An Act passed by the Austrian Parliament to hold such 
a plebiscite for the whole of Austria was never carried into 


effect owing to pressure from the British, French, and 
ItaHan ministers in Vienna; and various local plebiscites 
were also forbidden. 

In 193 1 Austria endeavored to bring about a Customs 
Union with Germany, but the Hague Court of Interna- 
tional Justice, by an extraordinary verdict, found that such 
an arrangement would be illegal. 

In 1934, after the revolt of the Austrian Nazis, some 
20,000 of them were imprisoned, and 40,000 took refuge in 
Germany. In February of 1934 the Governments of Great 
Britain, France, and Italy declared that "they take a com- 
mon view as to the necessity of maintaining the inde- 
pendence and integrity of Austria," and the same hypo- 
critical balderdash occurs in the Franco-Italian agreement 
of January 7th, 1935, the Anglo-French declaration of 
February 3rd, and the resolution of the Stresa Conference 
of April 14th, of the same year. 

What did this phrase mean? Independence of Austria 
from German influence, or the independence of the Aus- 
trian voter to choose his own destiny? Was there a de- 
liberate attempt to distort public opinion, or merely a 
desire to cover up our encirclement of Germany with ele- 
gant phrases? If we meant to allow the Austrians the 
right to determine their own conditions of life, it is 
strange that they were given no chance to express their 
opinions until Dr. von Schuschnigg asked them to come to 
the polls to say that they wanted to be free. Christian, 
German, and independent of Germany. On April loth, 
1938, when the Austrians were asked clearly — Yes or No 
— whether they wanted reunion, 99 per cent of them 
jumped gayly into the arms of Germany. 

In Kitzbiihel, on Friday evening, we heard over the 
radio of the postponement of the plebiscite, of Dr. von 


Schuschnigg's resignation, and that Austrian Nazis were 
to maintain law and order if the German army advanced. 

Next morning, Saturday, March 12th, when Dr. Goeb- 
bels read his Leader's fateful proclamation, we were sit- 
ting — some twenty or thirty of us — in a little weinstuhe. 
We were just an average Kitzbiihel crowd; people from 
the village, hotel guests, ski instructors, and some of us, 
I know, were by no means ardent Nazis when Dr. Goeb- 
bels began to speak in his resonant voice. But a miracle 
occurred when he said: "This morning the soldiers of the 
armed forces of Germany are marching across the Austrian 
frontiers, while in the blue sky above our German air- 
planes are soaring!" 

The audience was German. There was magic in the 
name. Never have I felt so unmistakably the influence 
of unseen forces as in that little room, the scene of many 
careless hours, now suddenly being filled with history. 
Under the sway of a common emotion the audience rose 
to its feet and sang "Deutschland iiber alles" and the 
"Horst Wessel Lied." All over Kitzbiihel, I heard later, 
wherever men and women had gathered, the effect was 
the same. 

No one was coerced. The joy of the people was real; 
they felt that everyone must be delighted at the swift 
movement of troops, at this dramatic, decisive ending of 
uncertainty. No longer was Austria a lone child; now 
she was part of the most powerful nation in Europe. 
Austria was German, and answered the call of the blood. 
Seen from the London angle, the march of the German 
army looked like an act of aggression. Seen from the 
Kitzbiihel angle, the troops were brothers, come to save 

In the streets of the village Austrian Nazis grew out of 
the ground; their uniforms must have been hidden for 
four years. They were, in some cases, a tight fit, but good 


evidence that they were storm-troopers at heart. Every- 
one greeted them with the "Heil, Hitler" salute. All the 
police put on swastika armlets. German and Austrian flags 
hung out, side by side, from every window. The town 
band played. Peasants flocked in from the surrounding 
country and paraded through the streets with torches. 
The hillsides flamed with enormous bonfires. Kitzbiihel 
was Nazi, to the last boy and last girl. 

To be accurate, however, not to the last adult. The 
proprietor of a popular cafe, whose wife was a Jewess, 
sat at an empty bar, listening to the rejoicings outside. 
Some rich and elderly Austrians of my acquaintance 
mourned the passing of their hopes for a Hapsburg 
restoration. And I met an English friend who was de- 
pressed to see dear, casual little Austria becoming so 
political. "How fortunate," he said, "that this is the end 
of the skiing season!" 

These events in Kitzbiihel, typical of what happened 
in many places in Austria (not all, certainly, but many), 
entitle us to conclude that the Nazi regime is popular 
with the masses. Or does the reader believe that the 
masses were duped? In Kitzbiihel he could hardly have 
sustained such an opinion, for during six months of the 
year it was filled with visitors from all over the world 
and newspapers in every language. If the masses were 
duped, then we cannot have much faith in democracy. But 
if, on the contrary, with first-hand information from visi- 
tors as to what was happening in Germany, they voted 
Nazi of their own free will, some of us must revise our 
estimate of the Third Reich. 

Sometimes one feels that one is glued up in lies, like a 
fly in treacle, and that it is almost impossible to get clear 
of the mess. Such was my feeling when I heard the British 
Broadcasting Corporation announcing to the British Em- 
pire on Sunday morning, March 13th, at 10 a.m., that 


"the German army has invaded Austria, and Austrians 
and Jews are flying before it." The mincing announcer 
never mentioned (but small blame to him; he v^as merely 
reading in his bored v^^ay w^hat some "pink" of Portland 
Place had written), the delirious delight with which 
Adolf Hitler had been received at Linz on the previous 
evening, nor did he so much as hint that a wild-fire of 
enthusiasm for the Anschluss was sweeping through the 

By Sunday evening the real facts were too obvious to 
be disregarded. Some of our newspapers, however, still 
wrote of the Rape of Austria. Rape! If she had not been 
taken when she gave herself so freely, she would have 
fallen into a hysteria that might have plunged all Europe 
into civil war. 

It was on the balcony of the Town Hall at Linz, on 
Sunday evening, March 13th, the day of the deferred 
plebiscite, that Hitler, listening to the tumult of his coun- 
trymen crying, "One Folk, one State, one Leader!" deter- 
mined on the union which marks forever the fall of the 
House of Hapsburg. 

Little did old Franz-Joseph think, in the glittering days 
of the fin de Steele, that there was a poor art student liv- 
ing in his dominions who would one day oust his line and 
be acclaimed by millions with a devotion his dynasty never 

On Monday morning, in the Church of the Capuchins 
at Vienna, where the Hapsburgs lie in their baroque glory, 
I found some old people praying. Outside, the loud- 
speakers brayed and crowds surged this way and that. 
Vienna was a city of spurs and swords and salutes. 

By the door of the aristocratic old Meissl und Shadn, 
and all the other big hotels, stood German sentries with 
rifles and tin hats. They marked the presence of German 
generals. When they were being relieved it was slightly 


comic to see them trying to pass through the revolving 
doors with a smart and soldierly bearing. . . . 

Most Jewish shops in Vienna's Bond Street (the Karnt- 
nerstrasse) had a notice to say that they were non-Aryan. 
Those that had omitted thus to warn the public of their 
race found the word ]ude scrawled in red paint across 
their windows. A carpet merchant, Ekbar Ali, had taken 
the precaution to warn the public that his was a "Nazional- 
persiches (arischer) iirma" — but who would buy Persian 
carpets during these days of destiny? A story went the 
rounds that a Jewish merchant found himself between 
two firms which proudly announced their purity. One 
put up a notice, "Arischer firma," and the other, "Rein 
arischer firma." The Jew was afraid that he would lose 
all his custom (to-day the story has a pathetic note), so 
he put up a sign: "Eingang hier!" 

After luncheon I went to the Spanish Riding School, 
where the perfection of haute ecole is performed by the 
famous Lippizaner horses, the pride of equestrian 

We were far from politics in that beautiful white hall, 
watching those wonderful creatures, so strong, so sensi- 
tive, in such perfect and joyous balance. 

It is the tradition of the Spanish School that everything 
is taught by kindness. The riders carry sugar in the 
pockets of their old-fashioned double-breasted coats; they 
never raise their voices; they never do more than touch 
with the point of their whips the satiny coats of their 
pupils, whose ears are pricked and whose eyes are shining 
with the pride of their accomplishments. Their lovely 
movements are artificial, of course, for no horse of the 
steppes ever danced a caracole or performed the piaffer, 
but they are magnificent in their harmony and in their 


emphasis on a poise and dignity which the world is losing 
in this age of machines. 

A million people were gathering in the Ring to see 
Hitler enter. Here I was almost alone with these superb 
animals and their riders, alone with the ghosts of 
eighteenth-century Vienna. 

^ ^ ^ 


Eight deep, ten deep, people were standing in the Ring, 
held back by German soldiers, to whom the spectators 
offered chewing gum and chocolates. It was a gentle 
spring evening. Plane-trees were just beginning to bud. 
Airplanes loomed against the sunset and dipped at us with 
a full-throated roar. A pigeon fluttered to the head of the 
equestrian statue which prances above the portico of the 
Opera. A radio van came past, announcing from nowhere 
visible that "beautiful Vienna lies in the sunlight, await- 
ing her Fijhrer," and the voice melted away on its rubber 
tires, impersonal, fantastic, and not strictly truthful, for 
the sun had already set. 

I made my way to a balcony of the Bristol Hotel. From 
here I saw the greatest crowd that has ever assembled in 
Vienna, stretching from far beyond the Opera to the Im- 
perial Hotel. All Vienna was not rejoicing — the Jews, for 
instance — but the scene below me left no doubt about what 
the majority were thinking. 

Hitler came almost unexpectedly as dark was falling. 
I had thought that there would be some elaborate pag- 
eantry; instead, there he stood alone in a big gray car. 
Vienna has seen the ebb and flow of many conquests, 
but never a conqueror who once shoveled snow in her 

A new chapter had opened in the history of Europe, 
but a chapter which already seems like ancient history, 
so swiftly have events moved since then. We are told now 


that Vienna has tired of her first fine Nazi rapture. Per- 
haps. But only a very small minority of her citizens would 
return to the days of von Schuschnigg. Austria is not 
entirely contented, but she is immeasurably better off than 
she has ever been since 1914. 

Vienna restaurants are doing a roaring business; many 
of them have increased their turnover by 400 per cent. 
The thoroughly efficient Winter Help Work has looked 
after sick and old as they have never been cared for pre- 
viously. Among youth there is a natural spirit of pride 
and optimism, stimulated by the great expansion of the 
German people. And to-day there is no able-bodied man 
without work in the Ostmark. At the time of the An- 
schluss, 10 per cent of the population of Austria was 
unemployed. The rich may grumble, but the Austrian 
poor bless Adolf Hitler. 

Vast schemes for farm roads and land improvement 
have been undertaken. Tyrolean timber and diary prod- 
ucts, Styrian mines, and the steel-works of the Alpin Mon- 
tan Gesellschaft have taken on a new lease of life. Great 
latent resources in water power and the important mag- 
nesite mines of the Ostmark are being developed. At the 
head waters of the navigable Danube, Vienna expects to 
control the trade of the Balkans. And she will, to a large 

Germany may be arrogant, and stupid, and untrust- 
worthy. Often in the past we have been accused of the 
same vices. Her faults are obvious. But let us also con- 
sider her virtues, for they are many. 

^ f/ff . /r / L f^f , fff m 

* Vv^" Vis." VxV" VvV" 


Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fiihrer! 

Xn the lobby of the Adlon Hotel, any time before Hit- 
ler became Chancellor, you could see prosperous cosmo- 
politan gentlemen smoking big cigars, while outside, in 
the streets, German children of both sexes sold their 
bodies for a shilling or two. That, as I have already 
written, was the result of the Treaty of Versailles, whereby 
we sought to bind Germany with fetters of gold, demand- 
ing astronomical sums in reparations, whose total was 
never fixed. 

We have forgotten — or we never knew — the miseries 
and degradations that Versailles inflicted on Germany, 
with our consent, if not with our approval. We do not 
know what it is to be defeated, starving, defenseless. The 
Germans know, and will not soon forget. Nor will I, 
who saw things in Berlin which cannot be printed. 

In the old days a war correspondent could view a battle 
through his field-glasses and gallop back with a report to 
startle the world. Nowadays no one person can see a 
battle, and whatever news he collects is most unlikely to 
get past the censor. So also, in describing the fight of 
modern Germany to free herself from the neuroses as 
well as the material results of defeat, I must rely more 
on evidence weighed and documents collated than on my 
own impressions. 

tF tP Tit 

First, at the risk of entering into barren controversy, 
we must examine the statement, so often made by op- 



ponents of National Socialism, that Communism in Ger- 
many was never a real danger, and that Hitler climbed 
to power on the shoulders of a cleverly propagated 

The facts are that Communism began to advocate revo- 
lution in Germany on August 4th, 19 14, when the Spar- 
takus League was formed by Rosa Luxemburg, Karl 
Liebknecht, and Klara Zetkin. (The latter, in her old 
age, came to call Stalin "a devil incarnate.") 

Liebknecht declared, as early as May ist, 1915, that "an 
international proletarian class war is the Socialist com- 
mand of the hour. The greatest enemy of every people 
is its own country." At the beginning of 1917 the Sparta- 
kusts issued a pamphlet entitled "Famine," calling on 
the workers to rise and proclaim the "solidarity of the 
international proletariat." Strikes "to weaken the home 
front" were fomented by them in the Ruhr in January 
and February, 1917; in Hamburg and Bremen in March; 
in Kiel, Braunschweig, Berlin, Leipzig, Hanover, and 
Dresden in April. In August there was a naval mutiny 
in Wilhelmshaven, of which the Communists wrote that 
"the rebel sailors have given their class comrades a signal 
and an example." In December, Rosa Luxemburg wrote 
that "the successful Russian revolution, combined with a 
successful German revolution, will be unconquerable." 
Lenin agreed, and wrote urging his comrades in Berlin 
to "attack world-imperialism decisively." 

Immediately after the armistice in 191 8 the first Com- 
munist rising in Germany began in earnest. Workers' and 
Soldiers' Councils were formed in twenty-four cities. 
Throughout December there was street fighting in Berlin 
(organized by Radek-Sobelsohn, the Polish journalist who 
has lately been liquidated by Stalin), and a hundred peo- 
ple were killed. Bremen fell into the hands of the Sparta- 
kusts in February, 1919. General strikes were called in 


Elberfeld and Bochum, and a Red army was formed, 
with its own artillery. In March, 19 19, hundreds of peo- 
ple lost their lives in street fighting in Berlin. 

In April, 1919, a Communist Government came into 
power in Munich, under the leadership of three Russian 
Jews, Levine-Nissen, Levien, and Axelrod. This "Soviet 
Republic" lasted less than a month, but cost the citizens 
of the Bavarian capital 927 dead and several thousands 
wounded. A particularly brutal murder of hostages (nine 
men and a woman) is noteworthy because of similar 
atrocities, inspired by similar ruffians from Moscow, which 
have lately occurred in Spain. To me the murders are 
personal, because one of the hostages, of just my own age, 
was the son of a dear friend of my family. 

In March, 1920, a new Communist rising occurred in 
the Ruhr, in which 208 soldiers of the German Army 
were killed and 578 wounded. In April, a Russian terror- 
ist. Max Holz, burned and pillaged villages in the Vogt- 
land district. In October there was a Communist riot in 
Hamburg, in which 17 police were killed and 69 wounded. 
And so on, for the next three years. 

During the inflation of 1923, when money lost its pur- 
chasing power, the middle-classes became paupers. But 
they did not therefore become Communists. On the con- 
trary, they began to arm themselves, since the Govern- 
ment seemed powerless to protect them. The Catholic 
party, the peasants, and what remained of the Junkers 
and the aristocrats were bewildered and bankrupt, and 
looking about for new political expedients. The Commu- 
nists realized that other methods were required to con- 
vert them, so they decided to go underground, and to sap 
the foundations of the State more thoroughly than they 
had yet done before again attempting its overthrow. 

From 1924 to 1929 they bent their energies to this sub- 


terranean subversion, employing the large experience of 
Russia under the Czarist regime and the talents of many 
revolutionaries from that country. The Weimar Republic 
gave full scope for their activities in the name of free 
speech and a free press. Bourgeois prejudices, bourgeois 
culture, and bourgeois morality vi^ere ridiculed. Patriotism 
was described as a sin against peace, and religion as an 
enslaving superstition. Anti-religious festivals were broad- 
casted, clergymen were shown in caricatures committing 
acts of indecency. Zuckmeyer, a poet praised as "great" by 
a Social-Democratic Minister for Culture of that time, 
wrote verses such as the following: 

The cats are caterwauling on the roofs 

Like the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane * 

Pornographic literature was displayed in the leading 
bookshops of the principal cities, and eagerly bought by 
boys and girls who thought themselves emancipated from 
the cramping complexes of their elders. A Left-Wing 
journalist of great experience in Russia as well as Ger- 
many recorded the following books and pamphlets for 
sale at a prominent street corner in Berlin in the sum- 
mer of 1932.1 

The Witches' Love Kettle. 

Eroticism in Photography. 

Sexual Error. 

Flagellantism and Jesuit Confession. 

Sadism and Masochism. 

The Labyrinth of Eroticism. 

The Whip in Sexuality. 

Sappho and Lesbos. 

The Cruel Female. 

• The German Revolution, by H. Powys Greenwood. Routledge, 1934. 
t Germany Puts the Clock Back., by E. A. Mowrer. Morrow. 


Massage Institutes. (For adults only.) 

The Third Sex. 

The Venal Female. 

Venal Love among Civilized People. 

Places of Prostitution in Berlin. 

The Weimar Republic failed because it had no con- 
victions, no compass of principle by which to steer. There 
is a Slav element in the Germans, and the same dark 
forces as had captured Russia w^ere vv^orking here in an 
underv^orld of failures, hysterics and sadists. All travelers 
to Germany at this time noted the corruption of manners 
and morals, but it was especially startling to those who 
knew the country intimately, as I did, before 1914, when 
officials were uncorruptible and the standards of decency 
as high as in England. 

Now that the policy of armed risings had failed, the 
internal organization of the Communist Party was thor- 
oughly overhauled. Three of its centers were directly de- 
pendent on Moscow: 

(i) The German Communist Party. 

(2) The Young Communist Union. 

(3) The Red Front Fighters League. 

The latter had been declared illegal by the Government, 
but existed none the less, meeting regularly at secret 
rendezvous. A round dozen other organizations were 
camouflaged auxiliaries of the Communist Party: 

(i) The Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition. 

(2) The German Red Help. 

(3) The International Red Help. 

(4) The Union of German Proletarian Free-Thinkers. 

(5) The Union of Proletarian Sexual Reform. 

(6) The League against War and Fascism. 

(7) The Red Pioneers. 


(8) The Union of Unemployed Proletarians. 

(9) The Anti-Imperialist League. 

(10) The Union of Red Sportsmen. 

(11) The Red Cultural Union. 

(12) The Reich Peasants Union. 

Newspapers supporting the movement included Inter- 
national Press Correspondence, The Red Flag, and The 
Red Front. More than a dozen Communist newspapers 
were published in provincial centers. From January, 1929, 
to June, 1931, a period of two and a half years, 41 editors 
of these publications were tried and convicted of high 
treason by the then very lenient and certainly non-Nazi 
courts of Germany. 

Communist activity was not limited to the masses of 
the electorate: it penetrated also the army, navy, and police 
forces. In the year 1932 there was a monthly average of 
40 cases of incitement to disaffection in the Army, and 74 
in the Police. Accused were generally charged with the 
distribution of subversive literature, for attempts to reach 
the Forces by personal contact were almost impossible to 

Preparations made by the Communists for a second 
armed rising in 1932 were well planned and nation-wide. 
Starving men and women were looting provision shops. 
Strikes and riots succeeded each other with monotonous 
regularity. There were 7,000,000 unemployed. 

The central question of the rising is the arming of the proletariat 
[wrote Hans Kippenberger, alias A. Langer.* I have slightly abbre- 
viated his redundant sentences, w^ithout altering their meaning.] 
The question of arms must be solved by the masses themselves. One i 
could add indefinitely to Lenin's list of primitive weapons available I 
to the proletariat: to "knives, knuckle-dusters, rags soaked in petrol" 
one could add "axes, bricks, boiling water to pour on the bestial | 
police raging in the working-class quarters, and simple hand- 

* Der bewa^nete Auf stand, by Hans Kippenberger. Geneva, 1 93 1 . 


grenades of dynamite," to mention only the most primitive of the 
almost infinite possibilities available everywhere. 

It is proletarians who work in chemical factories and in mines, who 
handle poison gases and explosives, and transport on the railways and 
waterways the bourgeoisie's instruments of murder: if they make use 
of these possibilities for the sake of their freedom they are only doing 
their duty. 

At this time the Communist Party had spies and sabo- 
teurs in all the major industries of the country, a courier- 
service to Moscow, complete with ciphers, passport-forging 
establishments, friendly customs-officials, and concealed 
stocks of dynamite, incendiary material and weapons in 
all the principal cities of Germany. Certainly the time was 
ripe for a bid for power. 

The National Socialist Party, on the other hand, had 
reached a difficult point in its evolution. In July, 1932, it 
had obtained 230 seats in the Reichstag, but in the 
November elections it lost 34 seats, whereas the Com- 
munists gained 11. The Communists knew, moreover, 
that the Nazis were short of funds, and that they 
themselves could rely on substantial contributions from 

Terror, scientifically applied, is an invariable prelude to 
a Communist rising. The Police Commissioner of Berlin 
made a report on August loth, 193 1, with regard to the 
murder of three inspectors and the wounding of three 
constables in which he stated that "police investigations 
have proved that in all the above-mentioned cases murders 
were planned. Communist organizations have made it 
their task to fight the executive institutions of the State 
by organized assassination." 

Subsequent investigations have proved that the Police 
Commissioner was right. The following table shows the 
casualties suffered by police who came into conflict with 
the Communists in the course of their duties: 


In 1928 Communists murdered i policeman and injured 66 
" 1929 " " no policemen " 145 

" 1930 " " I policeman " 274 

" 193 1 " " 7 policemen " 332 

it '< « _ " <' ^„ . 

1932 2 304 

With regard to attacks on political opponents, the rising 
tide of murdered Nazis tells its own story: 

In 1928 Communists murdered 5 Nazis and injured 360 

" 1929 " " 8 " " 881 

" 1930 " " 15 " " 2,506 

" 1931 " " 32 " " 6,307 

1932 68 9,715 

In five years, therefore, 128 Nazis were killed and 19,769 
injured. Each year the Communist murders and assaults 
increased. It is true that there were similar mounting 
casualties on the Communist side. ''Cet animal est tres 
mechant . . /' 

There is an unfortunately common type of Englishman 
— a product of our insularity, I suppose — who says of revo- 
lutionaries: "There's nothing to choose between them: 
both sides adopted violent methods." If someone hit my 
complacent countryman in the eye, or tried to pick his 
pocket, he would probably resist and retaliate, and he 
would certainly resent the attitude of mind of a spectator 
who watched the progress of the fight from afar and de- 
clared that people who brawled like that ought really to 
be locked up. 

The people who began the brawling in Europe were the 
Communists. In Russia they had excuse for their original 
actions, but in Germany, under the democratic Weimar 
Republic, Communism could have won the votes that 
National Socialism won had it been the will of the people 
to renounce Christianity and adopt the gospel of Marx. 

It was not the will of the people, as the following table 
clearly shows: 






Nazi Votes 






Reichstag Election, 

May 4, 192.4.. 





X3, 670, 189 


Reichstag Election, 

Dec. 7, 19x4 



X, 711, 8x9 




Reichstag Election, 

May zo, 19x8 





x6, 678, 3x7 


Reichstag Election, 

Sept. 14, 1930 







Reichstag Election, 

July 31, 1931 

13 -779' 017 






Reichstag Election, 

Nov. 6, 1931 





17, 752-, 779 


Reichstag Election, 

Mar. 5, 1933 







Nazi Plebiscite, 

"Yes" votes 

"No" votes 

Nov. li, 1933 







Nazi Plebiscite, 

Aug. 19, 1934 






Nazi Plebiscite on 

the Anschluss, 

April 10, 1938: 

In the Old Reich . . 



442-- 981 




In Austria 



Although Germany definitely turned against Commu- 
nism in 1930, preparations to force it upon the German 
people went forward vigorously, even after Hitler had 
been nominated Chancellor, on January 30, 1933. A few 
of these plots are given below, because the memories of 
the friends of Communism are very short: 

On February 13th, 1932, at a meeting of Communist leaders at 
Aue, in Saxony, it was stated that "big things will happen shortly," 
and arms were issued to members of the Red Army. 

On February 15th, 1932, the police in Flensburg received informa- 
tion that armed groups, provided with explosives, had been formed 
from the worst characters in Hamburg for the purpose of setting fire 
to buildings and blowing up bridges. Inscriptions appeared on the 
walls: "Workers, arm yourselves!" 


On February 17th, 1932, the police in the Ruhr district learned that 
terrorist groups of Communists were about to attack various railway- 
stations and municipalities. 

On February i8th, 1932, in Cammin, Pomerania, the police dis- 
covered a plan in cypher for an armed rising. Led by a bricklayer, 
25 men were to capture leading citizens and hold them as hostages. 
Public buildings were to be occupied, and railway bridges destroyed. 

A similar terrorist group was discovered at Burscheid, where nearly 
a hundredweight of dynamite was confiscated. 

In Herdecke, Schwerte, and Hagen, 43 Communists were arrested, 
in possession of 7 rifles, 42 pistols, 8 bombs, and other explosive 

Between July, 1931, and December, 1932, a period of eighteen 
months, 11 1 cases of high treason were proved against the Com- 
munists in the German Courts. 

From all parts of the country came news of an impend- 
ing Communist revolt; indeed, the Comintern had openly 
boasted of its preparations, and that it had inspired strikes 
and street-fighting. In Altona, Communist groups paraded 
the streets armed with knives, daggers, and bottles of sul- 
phuric acid, giving the clenched-fist salute. The memory 
of the bloody Sunday of Altona, on July 17th, 1932, when 
17 people were killed and over 50 wounded, was still 
fresh in the minds of the inhabitants. In Hanover prep- 
arations for revolution were well advanced: 100,000 de- 
tonators and large quantities of explosives had been stolen 
from a forester's house, and the rising was fixed for the 
day that Adolf Hitler was to assume office. 

Any of these conspiracies, or all of them together, would 
have provided a starting-point for the severe repressive 
measures which the Nationalist Socialist Government, in 
office only since January 30th, 1933, had undoubtedly 
determined to take against the Communists, when the 
Reichstag caught fire mysteriously on the night of 
February 27th. 

Doubtless the Reichstag fire was a good opportunity for 
the National Socialists to have done with their chief oppo- 


nents, but a little consideration of the circumstances under 
which it was burned reveals many awkward flaws in the 
theory, so commonly held in England, that the Nazis set 
fire to the building themselves. 

First, why should they have troubled to burn down the 
Reichstag? Their opponents had destroyed many other 
buildings, and were planning further arson. They had 
ample proof of Communist conspiracies in all parts of 
Germany and, were under no necessity to invent or 
manufacture evidence against their enemies. 

Secondly, if they had planned the burning of the Reichs- 
tag, would they have made use of a short-sighted and 
semi-idiotic boy such as van der Lubbe, the principal 
accused ? 

At the trial van der Lubbe admitted having been in 
the company of Nazis as well as Communists before the 
fire. Had the trial been faked, the Nazis would never 
have put such a witness upon the stand. 

But if van der Lubbe did not burn the Reichstag, who 
did? He confessed to the crime, was in possession of fire- 
lighters, and was proved to have started three other fires. 
No doubt he must have had accomplices, or been a dupe. 
If the latter, whose dupe was he? A dupe of the Nazis? 
We can imagine that the police told Goering that a half- 
wit boy was preparing to burn the Reichstag, and that he 
might be helped to do so, secretly, or that another fire 
might be started, so that the Communists should be 
accused of the crime. In that event, what would Goering 
have done? Surely he would at least have told the police 
to see that their story led to the Communists. It would 
have been easy enough to "plant" evidence. Instead, the 
police arrested four foreigners (van der Lubbe, Dimitrov, 
Popov, and Tanev, of whom Dimitrov had a perfect alibi, 
having been in Munich on the night in question), and 


only one German, Ernst Torgler, the chairman of the 
German Communist deputies. Had a trial on Stalin's 
lines been required (to convince the German people, pre- 
sumably, that Communists are in the habit of burning 
buildings), then it is hard to suppose that the Nazis would 
have chosen their victims so badly that the Court ac- 
quitted four out of the R\c accused. 

Finally, the fact that a tunnel led from General Goer- 
ing's house to the Reichstag is proof of Nazi innocence, 
not guilt. Why should the Nazis, had they been going 
to commit arson, have used such a clumsy means of 
approach as an underground passage leading to the 
house of one of their leaders? Goering had all the re- 
sources of the State behind him. He had no need of a 
secret passage. He v^ould not have given orders likely to 
incriminate himself. Yet unless v^e accuse him person- 
ally, or other high Nazi officials, we cannot reasonably 
accuse anybody in the Party. If we suggest that subordi- 
nates gave the orders, we are left with the assumption 
that junior officials planned a huge and entirely unneces- 
sary conspiracy. 

When the French entered the Ruhr in 1923, Hitler 
nearly won Bavaria to his cause. He failed, but came to 
bless his reverse, for his party was not yet ready for power. 

For ten years longer the struggle continued: between 
70,000,000 people who refused to be squeezed like a lemon 
("until the pips squeak," as one of our Cabinet Ministers 
said at the time) and the victorious Powers assembled 
at Geneva. The mounting indignation of Germans at 
their treatment is expressed by the rising figures of mem- 
bership of the National Socialist Party after it was recon- 
structed on Hitler's release from confinement: 


[n 1925 
" 1926 


Party had 27,000 


" 1927 
" 1928 


" 1929 
" 1930 
" 193 1 

" 176,426 

" 1932 


As soon as National Socialism was in power there was 
little further talk of pressure. If any pips squeaked, they 
were the League of Nations enthusiasts who saw that 
Geneva could no longer maintain a hegemony over 

Disarmament was in the air in 1933 (during this year, 
however, the Schneider-Creuzot munition works in France 
paid a dividend of 25 per cent, and the Skoda Works in 
Czecho-Slovakia 23 per cent), but the League of Nations 
came to the decision that Germany, who had been dis- 
armed for fifteen years, must remain in tutelage for 
another eight years before the pacific Powers could limit 
their "defense forces." Thereupon, Germany resolved to 
win her freedom through force. Her enemies may say 
that she has never understood any other instrument of 
policy. Maybe, but we never gave her the chance to do so. 

The following year was full of death and disaster. In 
February, 1934, Chancellor DoUfuss suppressed a Socialist 
rising with serious bloodshed. In July he was assassinated. 
In December, King Alexander of Yugoslavia and M. 
Barthou were murdered by an assassin in Marseilles. 
And on June 30th, 1934, the Rohm conspiracy was ruth- 
lessly suppressed in Germany. 

Ernst Rohm, Chief of Staff of the Nazi Storm-Troops, 
was an adventurer of homosexual tendencies, who had a 
gift for organization, and had become leader of the S.A. 
(the Sturm Abteilungen, Hitler's famous Brown Shirts), 


which had been raised originally to keep order at Nazi 
meetings, and had by now become an army of 2,000,000 
men. Besides the S.A. there were two other armed and 
organized bodies in Germany, the S.S. (the Schutzstaffel, 
or Black Shirts, who were a select corps of Nazis, 300,000 
strong, charged with the task of upholding the discipline 
of the movement), and the Reichswehr, the regular army, 
of 100,000 men, under the command of veteran officers. 
The S.S. were led by Heinrich Himmler, who distrusted 
Rohm, and disapproved of his manners, morals, and 

Rohm, an able and ambitious man, wanted his S.A. to 
be merged into the German Army, and its leaders to be 
given military rank. To this the Reichswehr very natu- 
rally objected: the Generals who commanded it did not 
want a splendidly trained body of men, each one of whom 
was fit to be an officer, to become a plaything for poli- 
ticians. Himmler agreed with the Reichswehr, and told 
Hitler that a plot was being prepared by Rohm to over- 
throw the regime. The Reichswehr intelligence service 
confirmed this information. 

Rohm was called to Berlin by Hitler in the spring of 
1934, and the Chancellor argued with him for more than 
five hours, not only about the S.A., but about his private 
life. Rohm returned to Munich in a sulky frame of 

How dangerous was he? Did he really intend to have 
Hitler killed? If so, the orgy at which he was afterwards 
surprised is difficult to explain. Nevertheless it is most 
unlikely that both the S.S. and the Reichswehr should 
have been misinformed about a matter so vital to their 
interests as a conspiracy in the ranks of the Brown Shirts. 
If a dangerous movement was afoot, as they alleged, then 


Hitler was compelled to act quickly, otherwise there would 
have been chaos in Germany, with 2,000,000 men swinging 
this way and that under the influence of divided leaders. 

On the night of June 29th, 1934, Hitler flew to Munich, 
and drove from the airfield, as dawn was breaking, to a 
hotel some thirty miles away, where Rohm and his 
followers were surprised at a revel of which the less said 
the better. They were all arrested, and taken back to 
Munich under escort. 

A revolver was put in Rohm's cell, but he did not use it, 
having a life insurance in favor of his family which 
would not have been paid had he committed suicide; so 
he was shot on the following evening. Meanwhile a clean 
sweep was made of conspirators in Munich and other parts 
of Germany. In Berlin, General Schleicher and his wife 
were killed, as well as General von Bredow, his close 
friend, and Karl Ernst, a favorite of Rohm's who had 
become the chief of the Berlin Storm-Troops. 

This "blood bath," as it has been termed by the ad- 
versaries of the Nazis, involved the death of some 500 
persons. More persons have died in other revolutions 
(even in Palestine) in recent times. Mistakes were made 
by the Nazis: shocking mistakes. I am not concerned to 
defend them. Until doomsday critics will pontificate 
from their armchairs, while the pageant of history passes 
on unheeding. 


There was now only one professional army in Germany, 
the Reichswehr, and each officer and each soldier took a 
personal oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler. He became, and 
has remained, the undisputed master of Germany. 


And what has the master done in his house? For one 
thing, he has changed the face of Germany. Literally, 
the face. Kaiser mustaches have vanished: men are nov^ 
clean-shaven, or vv^ear a clipped upper lip. The roll of fat 
at the back of German necks is beginning to disappear, 
and the German paunch of the middle-fifties. 

People look happy in this Third Reich, and that, to 
one v^ho remembers their condition under the Weimar 
Republic, is really a greater and more important change 
than the great nev^ motor roads or the great new build- 
ings. People not only look happy: they are healthier. 

In Dresden (whither I went to see the superb Sistine 
Madonna) I spent a morning at the Rudolf Hess Hospi- 
tal, where Nature Cure methods are being studied. 

Herr Hess has had personal experience of Nature Cure 
methods, and Herr Hitler, as a vegetarian and teetotaler, 
is also interested; in this hospital a synthesis of old and 
new ideas in medicine is being attempted. Of course. 
Nature Cure is as old as Hippocrates, but it is new in the 
sense that it had been neglected by the orthodox physi- 
cians of Germany (as it has been in other countries) with 
the consequence that until recently (again, as in other 
countries) more than half the sick people in the Reich 
were being treated by quacks. 

At the head of the Rudolf Hess Hospital is a physician 
of international repute. Dr. Grote. He is assisted by Dr. 
Brauchle, who is an expert on fasting, fruit diets, and 
mud and water treatments. The two work together in 
perfect harmony. 

"We have learned that symptoms have a meaning, 
instead of only a cause,'^ Dr. Grote told me. "Scientific 
medicine used to treat the causes; now we try to get to the 
bottom of the trouble. Natural methods of healing are 


slower than treatment by drugs, and therefore sometimes 
more disagreeable for the patient, but their results are 
permanent. For instance, rheumatic complaints can some- 
times be made to disappear in two or three days with 
aspirin: with fasting, on the other hand, the symptoms 
may continue for two or three weeks, but at the end of 
that time the patient is really cured. Cured, that is, so 
long as he does not revert to the habits which caused his 
body to protest." 

The Rudolf Hess Hospital is always full to capacity — 
1,100 beds — and it is being extended. Two thousand 
Nazi nursing sisters are learning Nature Cure. (By the 
cot of one of them I saw Dr. Rosenberg's abstruse Blut 
und Erbe, a strange bedside book!) Dr. Grote and Dr. 
Brauchle give ten post-graduate courses a year, so that 
each year some 600 doctors from all over the Reich have 
the benefit of their experience and researches. More than 
76,000 physiological analyses were made last year, and 
Dr. Grote has no doubt that when the records are col- 
lated and published an important contribution will be 
made to the practice of medicine. 

In Berlin there is another great Nature Cure Hospital, 
managed on lines similar to that at Dresden. It would be 
wrong to give the impression that all Germany is inter- 
ested in Nature Cure, but it is fair to say that the Govern- 
ment is encouraging a movement to bring the people back 
to the curative powers latent in the individual, instead of re- 
lying on medicines alien to the body. And this, of course, is 
in line with the political philosophy of National Socialism. 

The Strength through Joy movement is another, much 
larger, and far better known aspect of the same principle 
(with its Platonic echo) of securing harmony between the 
inner and the outer man. 


Dr. Ley, the leader of the Labor Front (its membership 
to-day is 21,000,000), organized the K.d.F. (Kraft durch 
Freude) in order to bring opportunities of recreation to the 
working classes at the cheapest possible rates. It was an 
attempt to interest people who had never before had 
much opportunity for enjoyment in sport, games, and 
travel. Dr. Ley wished not only to help in building up a 
healthy nation, but also to increase real wages by provid- 
ing opportunities for enjoying leisure in forms hitherto 
reserved for a privileged class. The success of his move- 
ment was immediate, and astonished even the Nazis 

To-day K.d.F. holidays are planned for ir,ooo,ooo 
workers a year, at a cost which varies from £1 to £1 los. 
a week. Thousands of small theaters — and some huge ones 
— are devoted to amateur theatricals: in 1937 no less than 
480,000 K.d.F. plays were performed, attended by 22,000,- 
000 people. 

Many millions of German workers have learned to play 
games for the first time in their lives. Hundreds of thou- 
sands have visited foreign countries for the first time. The 
K.d.F. owns four and charters ^wt large ocean-going 
steamers for its workers' cruises, which went to Norway, 
Madeira, the Azores, Italy, and Africa last year. 

German women — especially of the working classes — are 
far better dressed and better shod than they used to be. 
Contrary to the general belief in England, make-up is not 
frowned upon by National Socialism, provided it is used 
in moderation. The Fiihrer is very interested in feminine 
fashions, and encourages women to dress smartly. Al- 
though himself simple to the point of asceticism, he likes 
those around him to enjoy themselves with music and 
song and wine. 

With regard to unemployment, the Nazis have a proud 
record. Would that we could emulate it! What would 


restriction of liberty matter, if that were necessary, pro- 
vided we could end the sufferings of these patient millions 
of our people, denied their birthright of work! In January, 
1933, there were 7,000,000 unemployed in Germany. To- 
day there are 456,000 unemployed registered in the Old 
Reich, 150,000 in Austria, and 218,000 in the Sudetenland. 
These figures are an understatement of the true position. 
There are, in fact, no able-bodied unemployed anywhere 
in Greater Germany: those shown as unemployed are 
persons engaged in seasonal occupations (covered by in- 
surance) or the sick. The number of employed persons 
in Greater Germany has risen from 12,000,000 in 1932 
to 20,820,000 in 1938. 

At present Germans work long hours for small wages, 
but the standard of living is rising, and their money is 
worth more than appears from indices of costs, owing to 
cheap K.d.F. holidays, health services, etc. In the last five 
years of National Socialism the national income has in- 
creased by ;r2,ooo,ooo,ooo, and Savings Bank deposits by 
^T 500,000,000. (In France, Savings Bank deposits have 
dropped by ;r 100,000,000 in the same period.) Capital 
returns, based on 1,400 industrial concerns, have risen 
from a deficit of 4.8 per cent in 1932 to a dividend average 
of 6.5 per cent in 1938. Hundreds of thousands of acres 
of waste land have been reclaimed. Factory conditions 
have been improved until they are now the best in the 
world. More than 700,000 Nazi radio sets have been made, 
at a cost of 35s. each. A car — the People's Car — will soon 
be on the market costing ;^4o: buyers will be able to 
acquire it on a small initial payment and weekly install- 
ments which cover insurance. 

But the greatest successes of National Socialism have 
been won in the sphere of social service. German homes 
have always been the tidiest in the world, and even when 
the owners did not have enough to eat — in the 'twenties — 


they would still find some flowers for their window-boxes. 
But under National Socialism the poor are the constant 
and personal concern of all the members of the party. 
Mutterschule, Volkswohlfahrt, and Winterhilfswerke 
(Schools for Housewives, the Well-Being of the People, 
and the Winter Help Work) are nation-wide organiza- 
tions supported by the whole weight of the hierarchy. 
Field-Marshal Goering, Herren Hess, Goebbels, Himmler, 
and all the Nazi chiefs inaugurate the Winter Help Work 
by collecting in the streets; and every other Sunday 
throughout Germany a meal is served in all homes and 
restaurants, consisting of a single dish, the balance being 
given to charity. Thirty-four million pounds sterling were 
collected in 1937, and more than 3,000,000 poor children 
were given Christmas hampers. In November, 1938, ;f 50,- 
000 were collected in the streets in a single day and sent 
to relieve distress in the Sudetenland. 

In Munich, out of a population of 850,000, there are 
20,000 unpaid social service workers. The smallest group 
in the Winter Help Work contains about thirty people. It 
is supervised by a group leader, who knows his people 
intimately. The group leader reports to a circle leader, 
and the circle leader to a district leader, who has a card- 
index of every householder in his district. Help is dis- 
tributed irrespective of political conditions, except that 
the Jews have their own relief organization. 

There is no eyewash and no over-organization (so com- 
mon in Germany) in these distributing centers. Everyone 
is in plain clothes. There are well-filled rooms for pro- 
visions, others for clothes and medicines, and a special 
room is stacked high with Christmas presents. Quickly 
and smoothly the applicants receive their packets of sugar, 
their cofiFee or firewood, or try on boots or choose scarves 
or underwear. There was no Nazi propaganda in the dis- 
tributing centers I visited. 


Weekly visits are paid by the social workers to richer 
citizens, who are asked to contribute what they can, if not 
in money, then in kind — old clothes, old boots, or fruits 
from the garden. Last year the sportsmen of Munich 
contributed ;/^ 1,500 worth of game to the poor of the city. 
Three thousand old people had free meals throughout 
the winter. 

Below the pageantry and pyrotechnics of National 
Socialism there is a solid basis of common sense; also of 
Christianity, though this is vehemently denied by some 
persons otherwise friendly to the Third Reich. 

Undoubtedly there is a small pagan section of the Na- 
tional Socialist Party, but it does not enjoy much influence. 
Herr Hitler himself, and the bulk of his followers, are 
anxious to keep on good terms with all Christian 

For centuries the Protestant churches of the Reforma- 
tion have quarreled among themselves. They are still 
at sixes and sevens. Nowadays the majority of German 
Protestants — i.e., members of the Evangelical Church — 
accept National Socialism, and carry on their religious 
duties unmolested by the State, provided that they do not 
discuss politics. But there are extremist sections of Prot- 
estants, both pro-Nazi and anti-Nazi. The German 
Christians, Hitler's active supporters, claim that he is a 
new authority on what Christianity really is. They con- 
sider that "the primary assumptions of the State as it is 
to-day — those of Race, Blood, and Soil — are sacrosanct," 
and that "everything which National Socialism is now 
doing for the community is the will of God." These 
people are a numerous and influential body of Christian 
men and women. Their convictions may seem strange to 
us, but they are sincere. 

On the other side there is the anti-Nazi Confessional 
Church (a smaller body than the German Christians, but 


no less devout), which holds to the Lutheran doctrine 
that man is born in sin, and that the State is liable to 
error. To this church belongs Dr. Martin NiemoUer, of 
Dahlem, the former submarine commander who sank 
50,000 tons of Allied shipping during the Great War, 
and his brother. Pastor Niemoller, of Bielefeld. Dr. 
Martin Niemoller is one of the most eloquent and re- 
spected of the religious opponents of National Socialism. 
He was arrested last year on the charge of having called 
Hitler "a fool" in a public sermon, and convicted, but 
released, as he had already been in prison for a time 
longer than his sentence. However, he was immediately 
re-arrested — i.e., taken into "protective custody" — because 
he would not give a promise not to criticize the head of 
the German State in future. 

Too much fuss has been made abroad about Dr. Martin 
Niemoller. I agree with the Bishop of Gloucester, who 
wrote: "He was a man whose record of service com- 
mended him to the authorities, and his resistance was for 
some time passed over. He might, I am told, be released 
at once if he would undertake to avoid using his pulpit 
for political purposes. Even in this country we do not 
like political sermons, and are doubtful whether they 
benefit the Christian Church." Surely most of us agree 
that the head of a State should be left out of political 
controversy, except in very exceptional circumstances. In 
England this is a strongly held opinion: there is a tacit 
agreement among us not to criticize the King. 

Wherever I went in Germany I saw both Protestant 
and Roman Catholic churches well attended. Religion is 
freely practiced and preached; to compare the situation 
in Germany to that of Soviet Russia or the recent state of 
Soviet Spain is completely ridiculous. Even in Turkey, 
which claims to be a democratic country, priests are for- 
bidden to appear in public in their customary dress. Such 


restrictions are unknown in Germany, whose Leader has 
declared that Christianity is the basis of the moral system 
of National Socialism. Moreover, the German State has 
supported all efforts of the Evangelical Church to create 
unity in its ranks, and has financed it, as in the past, to 
the extent of ;/^2,5oo,ooo a year, as well as collecting taxes 
for it amounting to ;{^5,ooo,ooo a year. (It has done the 
same for the Roman Catholic Church.) 

As regards the Roman Catholics, there is nothing new 
in a quarrel between spiritual and temporal powers in 
Germany. Bismarck put a cardinal and six bishops into 
prison during the KulturJ^ampf of the nineteenth century. 
To-day, although nothing so drastic has been done by 
Hitler, the situation is difficult and strained because of the 
National Socialist claim to be the sole preceptor of German 
youth. "No obstacle will ever be placed in the way of 
religious instruction in the schools," Reichsminister Kerrl 
has declared, "but we must leave it to the State to educate 
German children in other fields." Here is the crux of 
the quarrel. 

Cardinal von Faulhauber, Bishop of Munich, and Count 
Preysing, the Bishop of Berlin, are the chief opponents of 
National Socialism. A durable understanding between the 
Vatican City and Berlin will be difficult, but not impos- 
sible; in Italy the different spheres of Church and State 
are recognized, and a modus vivendi has been found, al- 
though the last Pope sometimes criticized Signor Musso- 
lini's actions with severity. No doubt Pope Pius XII will 
do the same. 

Agreement on fundamentals will be impossible, for 
most Christians will disagree with Reichsminister Kerrl 
that "Christ led a bitter struggle against Judaism, and 
for that reason He was crucified by the Jews. The teach- 
ing of Christ Himself does not in any way contradict 
National Socialism." But it is not impossible for Chris- 


tians to live together in peace, in spite of unbridgeable 
divisions of opinion. 

In a labor camp in the neighborhood of Berlin I asked 
w^hether the boys could go to church on Sunday. I was 
told that they could, and that they could use their Govern- 
ment bicycles for the purpose. How many went? I in- 
quired. Very few, my informant replied, for the nearest 
church was five miles away. No church service of any kind 
was held at the camp; the very suggestion seemed to cause 

At Sonthofen, one of the universities for the leaders of 
the future, I was told that good National Socialists show 
forth their religion by their works, and that churchgoing 
was not encouraged, although not condemned. So also at 
a training school for women leaders at Potsdam (an im- 
portant institution attended by girls from all over the 
Reich, and visited by Dr. Goebbels as often as once a 
month) the headmistress politely, but definitely, refused to 
answer questions concerning church attendance. She said 
that such matters did not concern her. The girls were free 
to do what they liked in private. They did not go to 
church during their three weeks' course because they were 
too busy. The day began with hoisting the flag at the bot- 
tom of the lawn and the reading of a sentence or two from 
Mein Kampf. 

Amazing as this neglect of Christian worship seems to 
me, and sure as I am that I shall be attacked for my 
opinion, I declare my honest conviction that there is more 
real Christianity in Germany to-day than there ever was 
under the Weimar Republic. 

^ * * 

The educational schemes of the National Socialist Party 
are vast in scope, sometimes overlap each other, and are 
frequently described by compound words as long as those 


given by the Sanskrit sages of antiquity to their philoso- 
phies, so that it is not easy to give a clear outline of them 
in small compass; but they have a common denominator in 
the desire to develop character, honesty, and energy rather 
than the mental agility which gives success under a system 
of free business enterprise. 

Through the Hitler Youth, Labor Camps, Labor Front, 
Adolf Hitler Schools, and the Nazionalpolitischenerzie- 
hungsanstalt ("Napoli" to its friends), v^^hich gives a special 
political education to promising boys in fifteen schools (ten 
of them in Prussia), the ideal of mens sana in corpore sano 
is being inculcated throughout the Reich with Teutonic 

Every German boy must join the Hitler Youth at the 
age of ten. At fourteen he may have finished his schooling 
and be apprenticed to a trade. The Party still claims him 
on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, and through the 
Reichsberufwettkampf (National Competition for Appren- 
tices, in which 2,700,000 lads of all trades compete for 
yearly prizes, and the honor of being presented to the 
Flihrer) it keeps a tally on his technical skill. At eighteen 
he goes to a labor camp for six months. At nineteen, or 
thereabouts, the Army claims him for two years. From 
childhood until he returns to his work at the age of twenty- 
one or twenty-two he is organized, weighed, measured, 
card-indexed, drilled. 

« # # 

The Adolf Hitler Schools, of which there are to be 
thirty-two, one for each political district, are special schools 
for promising boys, to train them to the tasks of Govern- 

Each boy (chosen by the local Youth Leaders) must be 
twelve years of age, Aryan, and born of parents who are 
good Nazis. The "entrance examination" consists of being 


kept in an Adolf Hitler School for a week, during which 
time he is tested in qualities such as courage, strength, and 
mental capacity. One of the tests for courage, which I wit- 
nessed, was to jump from a fifteen-foot diving-board into 
a pool. All the boys, even those who could not swim, 
jumped obediently enough. 

What scope — the thought flashed through my mind more 
than once — is there for a stubborn little devil under Nazism 
or Fascism? Would Hitler or Mussolini have been prize- 
winners in their own schools .^^ It is true that no system can 
legislate for genius, but I wonder whether the German 
plan makes sufficient allowance for the characters that can- 
not be poured into a common mold.f^ 

These Adolf Hitler schoolboys, selected from all classes 
and ranks — the cream of the nation's male youth — undergo 
their special training at the cost of the State. Special em- 
phasis is laid on team games, and sports such as riding, 
swimming, rowing, fencing, boxing. English is the first for- 
eign language taught. Once a year each boy goes either to 
a miner's home for three weeks, where he works in the 
pit, or to a farm to help in the harvest. Book work is not 
neglected, but it is all permeated by the didactic National 
Socialist outlook. 

From the Hitler Schools the boys go directly to a labor 
camp, where they almost automatically become leaders, 
owing to their special training, and then to their two years' 
military service, which they complete by the age of twenty- 

Each year, then, some 4,000 lads of special ability will 
enter the life of the nation. Some will have professions 
ready for them, others will find their own particular niche; 
and all, it is hoped, will choose for themselves a suitable 
eugenic mate. Those who do not do so will probably have 
little chance of advancement in the National Socialist 


Three years later, when these men are twenty-four, a 
selection of 1,000 will be made, who will be offered a fur- 
ther course of training at the Castles of the National So- 
cialist Order, to fit them for high administrative posts. 
Some will have already embarked upon their careers, but 
it will be easy to select a thousand hand-picked men for 
Government service. Their three years of civilian life will 
have given them experience hardly to be acquired by grad- 
uates for the Civil Service in other countries. 

The three Castles are: Burg Crossensee in Pomerania, 
Burg Vogelsang in the Rhineland, and Burg Sonthofen in 
the Bavarian Alps. The chosen thousand will spend a year 
at each castle, and will then attend a further course of 
theoretical training for six months at Chiemsee in the Alps, 
under the direct supervision of Dr. Rosenberg, finally 
emerging as national leaders at the age of twenty-nine or 

More than forty million marks — say, ;r2,ooo,ooo — have 
been spent on building Burg Sonthofen, which is set in 
glorious surroundings amid the peaks of the AUgau. An 
immense swimming bath is being built, a huge riding 
school and gymnasium, football fields, ranges, open-air 
jumping schools, etc. Examinations are reduced to a mini- 
mum. One of the instructors told me that he judged his 
students largely by how they behaved when skiing, which 
he considered more important than scholarship. 

The same emphasis on sport exists at Toelz, near 
Munich, a "finishing school" for future leaders of the 
S.S., where two hundred young men undergo an eight 
months' course to fit them to become chiefs in the Schutz- 

No expense has been spared to give the students beau- 
tiful rooms for their work and play. When I commented 
on the luxurious surroundings, I was told that the majority 
of the pupils come from poor homes, where the graces and 


amenities of life are unknown; by surrounding them with 
comfort and accustoming them to beauty the Nazis will be 
able to raise the general standard of life in Germany. Nor, 
it was explained to me, is there any danger of their becom- 
ing soft under the discipline which prevails, and this I can 
well believe. The emphasis is laid heavily on character and 
courage. In students' rooms I saw pictures of samurai, 
Everest climbers, adventurers. . . . 

The future will show what these experiments produce in 
leadership. In the old days the Germans were too academic 
and theoretical. Now the pendulum has swung in an op- 
posite — and an English — direction. 

# # # 

The pillars of the Nazi world-outlook are Work and 
Brotherhood. Nowhere can this be better seen than in 
the Labor Camps, in which every German boy of 
eighteen, of Aryan parentage, must serve for six months. 
The number of boys in the i,6oo camps in Germany 
varies from 50 to 300; each year 150,000 pass through the 

During the October to April course as many agricultural 
laborers as possible are taken, so that they may be free to 
work on their farms in summer. Clerks and students gen- 
erally attend the summer course, from May to September. 
No exceptions are made, except for severe physical dis- 
ability, and it is claimed that poets and artists have bene- 
fited greatly by a life of camps. No doubt this is true: 
Dante and Gibbon were troopers in their time. 

The boys rise at five in summer, and six in winter, do 
gymnastic exercises for half an hour, tidy their rooms, wash, 

Five hours of manual labor follows: often an hour is 
spent in bicycling to their work, and an hour back, so that 
they are often away from their camp for seven or eight 


hours. Dinner is served between two and three o'clock in 
the afternoon, when the staff and boys sit down together to 
a substantial meal. We are told sometimes that the Ger- 
mans are half starved. What nonsense! They have insuffi- 
cient butter and other luxuries, but their meals are sound 
and satisfying. I have enjoyed several dinners in Labor 
Camps: kidney soup, beef, sauerkraut, potatoes, and deli- 
cious little wild mushrooms is a fair average sample of the 
boys' fare. 

Very few punishments are necessary (confinement to 
barracks and stoppage of leave are the most common), 
because the boys know that the report of the Camp Com- 
mandant will greatly influence their future. No corporal 
punishment is allowed. Any kind of "fagging" is strictly 

I examined the medical cards of a dozen boys in one 
camp: all had gained in weight, some as much as 20 lbs. 
in five months. Loss of weight is immediately reported to 
the Camp Commandant. Special squads are formed for 
weak boys. 

Each boy costs the State nearly two shillings a day: he 
receives 25/2^. a day pocket money, and all his clothes and 
food. His own clothes are sent home immediately on 
arrival, and to prevent class distinctions no boy is allowed 
to receive more than 5s. a week from his parents, as a 

I talked to six lads, ankle-deep in mud, near Bernau, on 
the outskirts of Berlin, where they were draining a marsh. 
Two were students from Munich, two were laborers from 
East Prussia, one was an apprentice in a steel-works at 
Stuttgart, one the son of an engineer in Cairo. (They came 
from widely scattered districts, for the Nazis like to keep 
people traveling, in order that they may learn to know 
each other and their country.) Anyone who sees these boys, 
as motorists through Germany can hardly fail to do, bi- 


cycling back to their camps, thickly coated and gloved in 
winter, half -naked and bronzed in summer, singing as only 
Germans can, will recognize that here is joyous youth, 
proud of its tasks, and believing in their motto: "Work 

The best camp I saw was near Field-Marshal Goering's 
country estate. It has been made almost entirely by the 
boys themselves; door handles and brackets as well as walls 
and roofs. The houses are on the border of the lovely 
Lake Werbellinsee. Most rooms have some vSuch motto as 
"die Heimat ist Mutter deines Lebens, vergiss das nie' 
(Don't forget that your country is the mother of your life), 
or "Du bist nichts, dein Vol\ ist dies" (You are nothing, 
your people everything). Pine forests come to the very 
doors of the camp. Across the steel-gray water rises a range 
of purple hills. Here is skiing, fishing, canoeing, climbing, 
to vary the hard work of forestry; I imagine life here must 
be a revelation to the town-bred boy. The air is like 

Labor Camps for girls are at present on a voluntary 
basis, but are soon to be compulsory: they have an average 
membership of 25,000 each summer. Although they are 
under the same administration, their work is entirely dif- 
ferent. The girls go into the peasants' homes to help the 
wives of the farmers, look after children, milk cows, and 
keep the home tidy. In the process they learn much of life 
as well as of agriculture. 

Girls from cities, factories, and offices [says Frau Gertrud Scholtz- 
Klink, the leader of the German Women's Labor Service] who 
formerly sat reading novels and who thought only of themselves, are 
now led back to the soil. They learn responsibility. In husbandry 
there is no shirking, the work is predominant, it stands before the 
individual "I," because if it is not completed, it takes revenge: the 
grain and turnips rot, and the people go hungry. 

The reality so necessary to life, which makes us unselfish because 
we know that we must concentrate on a certain purpose, is growing 


spontaneously in our young people. In this life in the countryside one 
notices that service to a great cause begins with very small things. 

# # # 

"The greatest part of our revolution," Herr Hitler said at 
the Nuremberg conference, "has taken place in our national 
and racial hygiene. We shall create a new man. Come and 
see for yourselves v^hether the Germans have improved or 
deteriorated under National-Socialist government! Do not 
take into account simply the increased birth-rate figures,* 
but notice the improved appearance of our young people. 
How fine our boys and girls look, how their eyes sparkle, 
how fresh and vigorous is their carriage, what perfect 
bodies these millions possess!" 

I saw the parade of the Labor Corps on a sunny Sep- 
tember morning at Nuremberg. Line upon line of boys 
in field-gray came swinging into the arena (the Zeppelin- 
weise) behind sergeant-majors with glinting, twirling 
maces. In all, there were 38,000 of them, representative of 
the 150,000 in camps throughout Germany. They were not 
soldiers, for they had not yet begun their military training, 
and the longest time that any of them had been drilled was 
five months, yet already they kept their alignment like 
veterans. They were dressed in marching order, with heavy 
packs and black top boots: at a word of command their 
knees stiffened, and they goose-stepped past their Leader to 
the rufHe and flam of drums. 

It was magnificent, and it certainly was not war, for they 
carried polished spades instead of rifles. 

In the center of the Zeppelinweise stood a sort of altar, 

* While unemployment rose under the Weimar Republic, the birth rate fell. 
National Socialism has reversed the process sharply. Unemployment does not 
exist, and the birth rate has risen from 14.7 per 1,000 in 1933 to 18.8 per 1,000 
in 1937. No other country in Europe can show such a large increase, which is 
due in part to special marriage allowances, etc., but chiefly to greater social 
security and self-confidence. 


carrying a spade and crossed sheaves. After passing the 
saluting base, each unit wheeled into its place in the 
arena. The last 3,000 marchers were stripped to the 
waist, and brought new color to the scene with their 
tanned bodies, contrasting with the gray uniforms and 
the steel of spades. Finally, detachments of the Women's 
Labor Service marched past Hitler and formed two 
circles, each round a tall mast. To a roll of drums they 
broke the flags of Germany and of the National Labor 

Now a giant voice addressed us through a thousand loud 
speakers: ''Fiihrer, see us, we are thy Germany l" 

Wir sind die Fahnentrager 
Der neuen Zeitl 

We are the standard bearers 

Of the new age! 

We have become one people 

Through his hand; 

He drew us together 

Into the Fatherland! 

God bless the work and our beginnings, 

God bless the Leader and these times! 

Herr Hitler left the long, low, black Mercedes car in 
which he had been standing for three hours at the salute, 
and mounted the tribune. While he spoke I thought of an 
old photograph I had seen of him as a soldier, in 19 14, 
sunken-cheeked, haggard, with a heavy mustache; and 
another as an unknown agitator in Munich, in 1920, pale, 
thin, standing in the snow in very thin shoes and shabby 
overcoat, talking to a few dozen listeners; and again, in 
1933, still pale and thin, with a wisp of hair tumbling over 
his burning eyes, a hard-bitten, hard-worked man, living 
on his nerves. To-day he has grown a little stouter, his face 
is sunburnt, his voice clear and strong, with the familiar 
rasp when he is stirred. 


"Fellow-workers, men and women, party-comrades," he 
begins. "In these few years you have become a part of our 
people. You belong to this place. You will always remain. 
Generation after generation of you will shoulder the spade, 
the weapon of peace, and will march with it in the service 
of the people. It is a joy for me to know that through you 
has been created a new guarantee of the eternal strength of 
Germany." (A thunder of Heilsl The applause comes in 
wave after wave to the spea\ers tribune. It is more than a 
minute before he can continue.) 

And so on. Hardly a sentence that is not greeted with 
rapture. A hundred thousand would-be spectators have not 
been able to get into the arena — there are 200,000 of us 
here — and must listen to loud-speakers outside. The road to 
Niirnberg is lined with men and women eager to greet the 
Fiihrer. Another multitude awaits him in the city. It is the 
same all day, and every day, throughout this week of 

Dawn broke rainily on the last day. In Bamberg, where 
I lived, 5,000 Labor Service girls trudged past my hotel to 
the station. Their flaxen heads were wet; they carried nu- 
merous parcels and quantities of gear in their heavy packs, 
and some led children by the hand — the children of their 
hosts — so that they might see the trains go; all were tired, 
but their spirits rose above the depressing morning, and 
they were singing lustily: 

We keep without scathe 
Our love and our faith 
In Germany glorious, 
Happy, victorious! 

Yes, the boys and girls of Germany are a fine sight. (No 
finer than our own youth would be if it had a chance to 
organize itself.) And a heartening sight, for unless Herr 



Hitler were mad, which I hope he is not, he will turn all 
this faith and fervor to good account. 

But to an Englishman the faith and fervor that Herr 
Hitler inspires is rather disturbing. It is quite unlike the 
affection the Italians have for Signor Mussolini. If the 
latter went mad, Italy would know of it at once. But if 
Herr Hitler were to make a speech lasting thirteen hours, 
instead of three, would anybody dare to interrupt him? I 
think not. 

The Anglo-Saxon peoples must not try to impose an eco- 
nomic boycott on Germany unless they wish to drive her to 
war. The Germans must not try to impose a military 
domination over Europe, unless they wish to drive us to 

German ways are not entirely English ways, but we 
have a great deal in common, and are partly of the same 
blood. Our boys and girls like German boys and girls 
instinctively. English is still the first language to be 
taught in German schools. We must respect this great, 
disciplined, industrious nation; indeed, we shall continue 
to respect her even if we have to fight her. That would 
be stark lunacy, but, alas, this is not an entirely sane 




<Ct'C .>>-.'*. 



The Children of Israel 

"Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; where there is hatred 
let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is despair, 

An old Italian prayer, quoted by Mr. Alwyn Parker in 
Lloyds Ban\ Monthly Review for July, 1937. 


N England, where it is possible to be blind to a great 
deal that is happening in the world, we have only lately 
been awakened to the Jewish problem. Even as late as last 
summer, when I suggested to a friend that there were pow- 
erful influences in the British press which kept the public 
from realizing the gravity of the situation in Palestine, I 
was told that I was "just a Nazi," and that the Jews had 
no influence on our public life. 

We were lunching in a little restaurant on a hill-top 
above Rapallo. At an adjacent table I noticed a small, dark 
young man in spectacles and a fair, handsome girl. I 
glanced at them, and continued my argument. We became 
rather heated, for my friend accused me of prejudice and 
religious intolerance. I answered that he knew nothing 
about the Jewish question, or rather questions, for there 
were several, and to grasp these problems as a whole one 
should talk to a wide variety of Europeans, and see for 
oneself — for instance — the aspect and surroundings of the 
Ghetto in Warsaw, and the crypto-Jews of Salonika and 
Constantinople. Presently the girl pushed her plate away 
with a gesture of disgust, and began striding about the 
terrace, waving her arms. 

At this point it dawned on me that the people at the 





next table were Jews. I left soon afterwards, and heard 
later that they tackled my friend. They were English Jews, 
they told him, and had overheard what I was saying. The 
husband had nearly assaulted me, and the girl could not sit 
still to hear her race insulted. 
" • No doubt their nerves were on edge, for that day the 
Italian newspapers were full of new laws against their 
"* ^ ^' race, nevertheless their attitude was typical: they consid- 
ered themselves insulted (whereas I was trying hard to 
"^ 'be fair), yet they did not move away, as they might easily 
have done in the uncrowded restaurant, but remained to 
1 continue the argument, as a sufferer irritates an aching 

|f * l^ The Jews should not be surprised or annoyed when they 
^ ' are discussed. The promise of Jehovah to give dominion to 
.^^ His chosen people is a statement in which other races can- 

not be disinterested, especially as the Jews are obviously 
j^:. ^^ chosen in the sense that they are marked by distinctive 
physical features. 
Like so many Englishmen, I have had many Jewish 
/> >C^^ friends. (A common preface, this, I know, to abuse of the 
Jews; but some of them, I hope, will absolve me from bias 
in what follows.) One of my Jewish friends, now dead, 
^i* was a brother-officer in a cavalry regiment. All his rela- 

O tives fought in the Great War, and four were killed in 

action. His wife is a Jewess whose family has been settled 
in England for 300 years, and has made notable contribu- 
ii tions to learning; she herself is strongly anti-Zionist and 

^wiC ^^'""'^i^ti-Communist. 

\t.^ , In 1929, when I was writing a book, my literary agent, a 

" ^ Jew, took great pains with my work, long before he could 

l^. have known that it might become a source of profit to 

q1 t^i him. He sent it to three (more or less) Christian pubHsh- 

^ ers, who refused it, and eventually to Mr. Victor Gollancz, 



who advertised it so well that it became a "best-seller." 
In those days Mr. GoUancz was a devout Jew: he may 
still be for all I know, but if so he must find it hard to 
reconcile his religion with the support he gives to Com- 

My American publishers were also Jews in those days. 
The film of Bengal Lancer was financed and produced by 
Jews. A Jewish stockbroker invested my savings, helped 
by a Jewish accountant, who grappled with the super-tax 
assessors. So the Jews have never done me any harm. 

It might be well to add here that I am prosaically 
English on both sides of my family. My father's people 
came from the uplands of Kirkoswald in Cumberland, 
where the Browns and the Yeats were farmers. The hum- 
ble story of their lives can be traced back to 1620 in the 
parish registers. (Before the seventeenth century people like 
us are lost to sight in the Civil War.) My last recorded 
paternal ancestor was a soldier under Cromwell. On my 
mother's side, the Bellinghams were of Norman blood, and 
may have come over with the Conqueror: we find them 
later at Levens Hall, in Westmoreland, which they gambled 
away, emigrating to Ireland, but there is not even any 
traceable Irish blood in my veins, let alone Jewish, for 
my grandparents and great-grandparents were English and 

The Jews have been treated abominably in many 
countries, indeed in all countries, at some time or other, 
except China and India, where they do not seem able to 
prosper. Wherever they have prospered, they have been 

There must be some reason for this. Alike in the pagan 
world and in Christendom, the Jews have been considered 
an arrogant and argumentative race. Even their own Je- 
hovah asked: "How long will this people provoke Me?" 

The great majority of Jews, like the great majority of 


Gentiles, are not bloodthirsty revolutionaries or intoxicated 
idealists; but I think it is fair to say that they are an un- 
balanced people. Mentally they are of a revolutionary tem- 
perament (even under Moses they v^hored after strange 
gods), and materially they have been so badly treated in 
the last 2,000 years that some of them turn to any cause 
which would seem to better their lot. Once engaged in such 
a movement, they are liable to dominate it with their 
Messianic zeal. 

The world hears little of the law-abiding Jews, but the 
firebrands are always conspicuous, and when a revolution- 
ary situation occurs in any country the Right-Wing Jews 
tend to be associated in the public mind with the Left- 
Wing Jews: even in England to-day, where anti-Semitism 
is increasing, owing to the presence of refugees, the Con- 
servative Samuels and Sassoons are being confused by many 
people with the Victor Gollanczes and Harold Laskis of 
the Left. 

Is it just, then, to say that there is a Jewish problem at 
all, since so many Jews are worthy citizens? Is it not rather 
a Christian problem: how to cure ourselves of intolerance? 
Many of us in England hold this view, and it has been 
eloquently advocated by many Jews. I do not share it, 
because my travels, and my reading of history, have con- 
firmed me in the opinion that, however charming and 
however capable individuals of the race may be (and how- 
ever valuable as citizens, when existing only in small num- 
bers), any large gathering of Jews spreads a curious kind 
of irritation and uneasiness among the surrounding Gen- 
tiles. This instinctive dislike of Jews en masse by other 
races is a fact, explain it how we may. It has persisted 
down the ages. 

But what is a race? Dean Inge tells us that "the official 
German doctrine of 'race' and 'blood' is the most gro- 
tesque piece of unscientific balderdash ever crammed down 


the throat of an intelHgent people." He tells us that the 
races of Europe are inextricably mixed, and that the Jews 
are not a race. 

Well, anyone with an eye for faces and a taste for travel 
can see that racial types do exist. One need not be a scien- 
tist to distinguish a Swede from an Italian. Moreover, 
microscopes have revealed well-defined differences between 
the hair-structure, skin-texture, shape of ears, nose, mouth, 
skull, proportion of blood-groups, and age of nubility of 
the various groups of mankind. It is possible that new 
racial crosses may be evolved (a French friend once sug- 
gested to me that a strain of Jewish blood stimulates the 
intelligence like a dash of absinthe in a cocktail), but we 
cannot deny the right of the dictatorship countries to their 
own views as to how humanity may be bettered. 

How far climate, and food, and subtler influences from 
their native earth have molded the physical and mental 
characteristics of the present races of Europe none of us 
really knows; but we do know that breeding is of immense 
importance, at any rate in animals. The mating of three 
Arabian stallions with our English mares produced the 
English thoroughbred, but more Arabian blood would not 
improve the race; on the contrary, it would tend (as fre- 
quent experiments have proved) to produce lumpy shoul- 
ders and lack of speed. Anyone who suggested that the 
Stud Book was of no importance in racing would be 
rightly considered a lunatic. Yet the Germans and Italians 
are ridiculed by our highbrows for taking measures to see 
that their future leaders shall be of what they consider 
sound stock! 

Certainly it is not as simple to breed men as it is horses, 
for obvious reasons, but it is not impossible to take pre- 
cautions. Indeed, precautions are very necessary, as even 
the most elementary acquaintance with eugenics proves. 
The Jukes family is rather vieux jeu, and there have been 


more modern and more striking researches into the 
begetters of the socially unfit; nevertheless, the late Mr. 
Jukes still stands as an example to all time, to point the 
moral that children must be born of sane and healthy 
parents, and that heredity is at least as important as 

The Germans and Italians are convinced that to cross 
their stock w^ith Jev^ish blood is dysgenic, and that it v^ould 
be disastrous to their future. Whether this theory is right 
or v^rong is immaterial: it is a belief strongly held not only 
by Germans and Italians, but by the majority of Jew^s 
themselves, w^ho dislike mixed marriages. They consider 
themselves a people apart, believing, as I believe, that gen- 
erally speaking it is not for man to join those races which 
God has separated by distinctive characteristics. 

I cannot think why it is considered so absurd, unsocial, 
and unscientific of the Germans to attach importance to 
preserving the integrity of their blood. It is true that the 
world desired and described by people who want us all to 
be managed by a Council in Geneva, with an International 
Air Force to bomb any people that objects to its decrees, 
would have to be a mongrelized world in order to be 
manageable. But no other world. . . . 

We ourselves have instinctive racial prejudices, and al- 
though our Empire is composed of people of all colors and 
races, we do not encourage interbreeding in practice. Most 

* Jukes was a lazy vagabond born in rural New York in 1720, whose de- 
scendants, by 1915, numbered 2,820 individuals, of whom three-quarters had 
been paupers, thieves, prostitutes, epileptics, or mental deficients, costing the 
State incalculable sums for their care and maintenance. Another case that has 
been the subject of inquiry by American eugenists is that of a soldier in the 
Revolution who had an affair with a half-witted servant girl. Some years later he 
married a woman of good stock; all their children and their descendants, traced 
through a hundred years, did well in New Jersey. The descendants of the liaison 
with the half-wit, however, during the same period, produced 480 individuals, 
of whom 214 were subnormal or unsatisfactory: 143 were feeble-minded, 33 
were convicted of sexual offenses, 24 were drunkards, 3 were criminals, 3 
epileptic, and 8 kept houses of prostitution. 


of us would be sorry to see our sister married to a Zulu, 
however noble in character and appearance. Rightly. Eng- 
land would cease to be England if we adulterated our 
blood excessively with alien strains. The point is so ob- 
vious that it ought not to need stating. Unfortunately, 
we are hypocrites in the matter: we exclude Indians from 
our clubs, while expecting them to glorify our Empire. 
Similarly, the Americans deny votes to millions of their 
negroes (and lynch them, every now and then), while 
admonishing the dictatorship countries for their wicked 

* * * 

Before turning to the urgent question of Palestine, and 
the English Jews, let us examine, as briefly as may be, the 
history of Israel in Russia, Italy, Germany, with a glance 
at Hungary and France. In Poland, with her 3,500,000 
Jews, and in Rumania, with her 900,000, there are also 
serious difficulties to be faced, similar in essence to those in 
Germany: only lack of space forbids me from considering 

In Russia the Jews were persecuted under the Czars, kept 
within a pale, moved from pillar to post without redress, 
and for these reasons they were tempted to join forces with 
any and every liberator. It has always been thus through 
their history. We cannot be surprised that they soon made 
common cause with the revolutionaries. They were not 
Bolsheviks at first. Many were Liberals, others Mensheviks. 
But after the Revolution, the Jews, like the Christians, 
had to choose between Communism and death. They 
chose Communism, and, being mostly literate they soon 
acquired an influence out of all proportion to their 


In 1917, Lenin was smuggled into the country with four 
Jews, Leiba Bronstein {alias Leon Trotsky), Apfelbaum 
{alias Zinoviev), Rosenfeld {alias Kamenev), and Sobelsohn 
{alias Radek), with the help of the Germans and a Jewish 
banking house in New York, and through the agency of 
Israel Lazarevitch Helphand, alias Parvus, a Russian Jew 
who made his fortune in Denmark out of German coal. 

Karl Marx, the father of Bolshevism, whose real name 

^..."was Mordecai, was the son of a rabbi* in Treves. He hated 

the Jews, it is true, but then he held most of the human 

race in scorn, except the Proletariat, with whom he rarely 

came in contact. 

According to the Rev. George A. Simons, of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Petrograd, out of the 388 
members of the first Bolshevik Government which met in 
Petrograd in December, 1918, no less than 265 were Jews 
from the Lower East Side of New York City. There were 
106 European Jews, one North American negro, and only 
16 genuine Russians. Sixteen Russians, a negro, 371 Jews! 
The president of this collection of aliens was the Jew 

M. Oudendyke, the Dutch Minister in Petrograd, sent a 
report to the British Government at this time stating that 
"unless Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately it is 
bound to spread all over Europe, in one form or another, 
as it is organized and worked by Jews who have no na- 
tionality, and whose object it is to destroy the existing 
order." This report was published as a White Paper by the 
British Government, but disappeared almost immediately 
from circulation. When reprinted, the above passage was 

The population of Russia was then (in 1918) 158,400,000, 
of whom 7,800,000 were Jews. The present population is 
about 170,000,000, and probably the same proportion — say 

w I \ '-i 


5 per cent — are Jews. Yet in 1935, in the Central Com- 
mittee of the Communist Party, consisting of 59 members, 
95 per cent were Jews — i.e., 56 members — while the other 
three members were married to Jewesses: Stalin, Lobov, 
and Ossinsky. 

Among the Ambassadors and Ministers of the U.S.S.R. 
in 1935 the following were believed to be Jews: 

In Berlin: M. Suritz. 

In Paris : M. Louritz. 

In Rome : M. Stein. 

In Tokyo : M. Yureneff . 

In Ankara : M. Karakhan. 

In Brussels : M. Rubinin. 

In Oslo : M. Yakoubowich. 

In Stockholm : Mme. Kallontai. 

In Bucharest : M. Ostrovski. 

InRiga: M. Brodovsky. 

In Tallin: M. Karski. 

In Helsingf ors : M. Asmous. 

In the same year (1935) the League of Nations Delega- 
tion consisted of one Georgian, M. Swanidze, and seven 
Jews, MM. Litvinov, Rosenberg, Stein, Markus, Brenners, 
Hirschfeld, Helphand. 

At present, with the purges in progress, it is impossible 
to give the Semitic percentages in the Russian Government. 
Certain it is that they are very much higher than the 
percentage of Jews to the population, both in the lower and 
upper grades of the State service, which means, in Russia, 
of practically all employment. 

During his travels along the border districts of the 
U.S.S.R., M. Jean Fontenoy''^ found that 90 per cent of the 

^f^ m F# ^^^-«^^^ij 


directors and secretaries of the collective farms he visited 
were Jev^s. Field w^orkers received a maximum of 27 days' 
pay a month: the president and secretary 80 to 90 days' pay 
a month. The words Communist and Jew were synony- 
mous with the peasants: they thought that the Jews were 
the rulers of the land.* 

In Kremlin circles the two brothers-in-law of Stalin, 
Lazarus and Moses Kaganovitch, are Ministers of Trans- 
port and Heavy Industry respectively; the guard of the 
Kremlin is confided to the Jewish Colonel Jacob Rappo- 
port; while the concentration camps, with their population 
of 7,000,000 Russians, are in charge of a Jew, Mendel 
Kermann, aided by Lazarus Kaman and Semen-Firkin, 
both Jews. The prisons of the country are governed by the 
Jew Kairn Apeter. Foreign policy is almost wholly in 
Jewish hands, beginning with that man of many aliases, 
M. Meyer Moses Polyanski, alias Enock Finkelstein, alias 
Gustav Graf, alias Buchmann, Harrison, Maximovitch, 
Wallach, Berr, and Litvinov, the Foreign Minister of the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, at whose breakfast- 
table Mr. Eden found pats of butter stamped with the 
slogan, "Peace is indivisible." What peace, M. Litvinov may 
sometimes ask himself, will Russian Jews have in the days 
to come? 

As regards Italy, if we begin with Rome, we may note 
that after the Temple at Jerusalem had been destroyed by 
the Romans, and the Table of Shewbread and the Seven- 
branched Candlestick had been brought to the Capitol, 
Numatinus mourned the victory thus: "If only Titus had 

•One is reminded of Deuteronomy (vi. lo, ii): "When the Lord thy God 
shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to 
Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities which thou 
buildedst not; and houses full of good things which thou fiUedst not; and wells 
digged which thou diggedst not; and vineyards and olive trees which thou 
plantedst not, when thou shalt have eaten and be full." 

Ixc #|V/ )<^5 »A ikt So^ict^ 

)i C 



not destroyed Jerusalem we should have been spared from 
this Jewish pest, and the conquerors would not have 
groaned under the yoke of the vanquished."* 

In their time, Suetonius, Diodorus, Tacitus, Don 
Cassius, Pliny, and other distinguished Romans wrote 
diatribes against the Chosen People as bitter as anything 
composed by the Spaniards of the past or by the Nazis of 

In A.D. 418, Jews were excluded from military service in 
the Roman Empire. Subsequently they were protected by 
the Popes, and, in spite of occasional outbreaks of anti- 
Semitism (nineteen Jews were burned alive in Siena as late 
as July 28, 1799), there was little of that bitter hatred from 
which they suffered elsewhere. 

Indeed, in the early years of the Fascist regime one of 
the most distinguished Ministers of Finance was Signor 
Guido Jung, a Jew who had been a front-line soldier dur- 
ing the Great War. But, rightly or wrongly, Signor Musso- 
lini came to the conclusion in 1936 that certain Jews of 
England and the United States took an important part in 
the attempt to strangle Italy through sanctions. On July 
14th, 1938, a group of scientists, under his inspiration, made 
an official declaration relating to racial problems, of which 
the following are the main points: 

1. Human races exist: they are not abstractions, but concrete reali- 
ties, consisting of millions of men of similar physical and psychological 
characteristics, which they inherit and transmit to their heirs. 

2. In addition to the great racial groups, there are subgroups, such 
as the Nordics, the Mediterraneans, etc. 

3. The differences between peoples and nations are due to race, as 
well as to history, language, and religion. 

4. The present population of Italy is of Aryan origin, and its civ- 
ilization is Aryan. 

5. It is false to say that any considerable mass of emigrants entered 
Italy in historic times. Since the invasion of the Lombards there has 

* Israel, son passe, son avenir, by H. de Vries de Heekelingen. Perrin, Paris, 1937. 


been no movement of peoples on Italian soil sufficient to exert racial 
influence. The 44,000,000 Italians living to-day are descended chiefly 
from families living in Italy a thousand years ago. 

6. The blood heredity which unites the Italians of to-day w^ith those 
of a thousand years ago has created an Italian race. 

7. Racial theory in Italy is purely Italian. Italians and Scandinavians 
are not the same people; but still more are the Italians completely 
differentiated from non-European races. 

8. There is an absolute differentiation between the peoples of the 
West Mediterranean and the peoples of the East Mediterranean and 
African peoples. 

9. The Jews do not belong to the Italian race. They are the only 
people who have never been assimilated on Italian soil, because their 
racial type is definitely different from that from which the Italians 

10. The purely European characteristics of the Italian race must 
never be altered by inter-breeding with non-European races. 

This manifesto puzzled public opinion abroad, and led to 
a bitter speech from the Pope, which was published in the 
Osservatore Romano (the Vatican organ) and four affiliated 
newspapers. The Government Press did not reply, but a 
few days later a semi-official communique was issued, stat- 
ing that, although the discussion of racial problems had 
lain dormant for several years, this was only because more 
urgent matters had to be solved first. 

Now the conquest of the Empire has brought racial questions to the 
fore. Ignorance of such problems has led to dramatic and bloody reac- 
tions, about which this is not the moment to speak. Other peoples 
send to the territories of their Empire few and carefully selected 
administrators, but we intend, in time, and for reasons of absolute 
necessity, to send millions into Libya and Italian East Africa. To avoid 
the running sore of hybridism and the creation of a bastard race 
which is neither European nor African, the severe laws of Fascism 
are not enough: we must also create a clear, strong, and self-reliant 
public opinion. 

Discrimination is not persecution. May these words be heard by the 
too-many Jews of Italy and other countries who raise their useless 
lamentations to the sky, and pass, with characteristic rapidity, from 
the height of pride to the depth of panic. The Fascist Government has 
no plans for the persecution of Jews, as such. 


According to Jewish statistics (shortly to be checked by a special 
census) the Jews in Italy number 44,000. Their proportion to the 
population is therefore one Jew to 1,000 Italians. It is clear that, from 
now on, the participation of Jews in the life of the State should be, 
and will be in this proportion. Nobody can contest the right of the 
Fascist State to come to this decision, least of all the Jews, who have 
always been — and are now, according to the recent solemn declaration 
of the Italian rabbis — the apostles of the most totalitarian, unyielding, 
ferocious, and in some respects admirable racialism. They have always 
held themselves to belong to another stock and to be of another race. 
They have always proclaimed themselves to be a "chosen people" and 
they have always given proof of their racial solidarity across all the 
frontiers of the world. 

On September ist a decree law was promulgated for- 
bidding Jews — defined as persons of Jewish parentage on 
both sides of their family, whatever the religion they 
profess — from establishing a permanent domicile in Italy. 
Citizenship conferred on Jews after January ist, 1919, 
was revoked. Jews who came to Italy after that date 
were warned that they must leave the country within six 

Outside Italy this racial movement was represented as 
having taken the Italian public by surprise. That was not 
my impression v/hen living in the country. There is no 
fanatical anti-Semitism in Italy. In Liguria the people say 
that it takes three Jews to get the better of one Greek, 
and three Greeks to outwit a Genoese. On the other hand, 
even among friends who know me well enough to speak 
freely against Fascism when so disposed, I found little dis- 
approval of the measures, though individual cases of hard- 
ship were deplored. A new monthly review on racial ques- 
tions, La Difesa delta Razza, sold 85,000 copies of its first 
issue, and 120,000 of the second. 

As regards Germany, I must say clearly that I abhor the 
present treatment of the Jews by the Third Reich; it is 
horrible, and haunts my conscience whenever I praise the 


other achievements of the National SociaUsts, some of which 
are great and good. 

The unfairness of the recent anti-Semitic measures — 
^ forbidding a helpless minority to ride bicycles, for in- 

stance, to mention only a minor injustice — seems to me, 
,y,. i as an Englishman, almost more shocking than the down- 
I * right maltreatment which the Jews have also suffered. If 
we see somebody torturing a child, for instance, we are 
indignant, and it is no excuse to say that it has been tire- 

Admittedly we cannot adopt the position that we have 
a greater responsibility to the Jews in Germany than to 
our own destitute and unemployed. Nevertheless, the way 
the Germans have treated their Jews is disgusting. They 
could have been no danger to Germany last year, when 
they were so shamefully bullied. 

Where they are to go, and how, we shall presently discuss. 
We must first consider the circumstances and causes that 
have led to their present plight. 

Jews were established in the Rhineland in a.d. 368, and 
seem to have consolidated their position unmolested for 
four or Ryq hundred years. The era of persecution begins 
in the ninth century, and continues with increasing fre- 
quency and ferocity until the massacres in Cologne, Stras- 
bourg, Augsburg, Wurzburg, Breslau, and Nuremberg 
in the seventeenth century. In 1717 the inhabitants of 
Danzig stated that "these wretched people are taking the 
bread out of our mouths," and there were similar com- 
plaints from all parts of Germany. After the French Revo- 
lution, however, matters improved, and continued improving. 
The first decade of the present century was the golden 
age of the German Jews, whose immense energy forced 
an opening into all careers and professions except the 


"In the midst of German life," wrote Walther Rathenau, 
once Foreign Minister in the Weimar Republic, and 
himself a Jew, "is a separated, strange race of people, 
strikingly clothed, hot-blooded, with animated features: an 
Asiatic horde on the sand of the Prussian marches. They 
live in congested groups, foreign organisms in the body 
of the population. The State has made them citizens and 
educated them to be Germans, but they have remained 

Foreigners, yet during the Great War 12,000 German Jews 
died for their country, and 1,500 of them were decorated with 
the Iron Cross of the First Class. 

In October, 1934, Dr. Naumann, President of the 
Union of National German Jews, declared that his Union 
"would rather starve with our non-Jewish German com- 
patriots than accept any concessions from those who are 
engaged in the revengeful boycott against Germany from 

In 1925, when a census of foreign Jews was taken, it 
was discovered that recent immigrants to Germany con- 
sisted of: 

35,386 Jews from Poland 




Soviet Russia 










other nations 

In reality, the total immigration of foreign Jews was 
greatly in excess of 68,115, because only practicing Jews 
were registered as such. This invasion from the east, 
carrying with it Bolshevism in a virulent form, was one 
that the Germans felt bound to resist, sooner or later. In 
their exposed geographical position they considered that 


it was impossible for them to absorb so many foreign 

At this time (1925) there were 564,379 German Jews in 
Germany, chiefly congregated in the larger cities. With 
the return of the Saar territory there was a further influx. 
To-day, with Austria and the Sudetenland added to the 
Reich, there are some 600,000 Jews in Germany. Even 
before the recent edicts their life was being made almost 
intolerable, and it is hard to explain why 50,000 Polish 
Jews should have preferred to live there rather than in their 
native land. 

In Berlin in 193 1, out of 29 theatrical producers, 23 were 
Jews. Half the films made were made by Jews, who owned 
19 out of 20 production firms. Out of 3,450 lawyers, 1,925 
were Jews. Half the doctors were Jews. In Breslau, out of 
285 lawyers, 192 were Jews. In Frankfurt, out of 659 lawyers, 
432 were Jews. Fifteen Jewish bankers in Germany had 
718 directorships. The German Communist presses were 
controlled by Herren Thalheimer, Meyer, Scholem, Fried- 
lander, all Jews. 

In Vienna, where the Jewish problem was even more 
acute than in other German cities, 85 per cent of the 
lawyers were Jewish, 70 per cent of the dentists, and over 
50 per cent of the physicians and surgeons. The boot 
and shoe industry was 80 per cent under Jewish con- 
trol, newspapers 80 per cent, banks 75 per cent, the wine 
trade 73 per cent, the cinema 70 per cent, lumber and 
paper trade 70 per cent, fur and furriers 87 per cent, bakeries 
60 per cent, and laundries 60 per cent under Jewish 

It is incontestable that the Jews in pre-Hitler Germany 
occupied too many key positions, and used their power to 
further policies alien to the wishes of the majority of the 



German people. During the inflation of 1923, some Jews 
with financial connections abroad profiteered in a shame- 
less fashion and acquired land and property which the 
German people now consider to have been stolen from them. 
In Berlin, until recently, 33 per cent of the real estate in 
the capital was in Jewish hands. The Jews who profiteered 
were generally not the long-settled residents, but strangers 
from the ghettos of Poland and Transylvania. But how were 
the Germans to discriminate ? _.— -- 

A rabbi of Czernovitz, Dr. Manfred Reifer, summed up oj*^- 
the situation of his race with great insight in 1933. His views , ^ 
may have changed since then, but they have stood the test ^a /-^ 
of time: # C^if <rr ^ y^rf^^ ryf .. ,-, ^ 

The German Jews [he wrote] have avoided the fundamental ques- ' ,.. 
tions of history, and have looked at the world through rose-colored '^^l', 
glasses. They were advocates of assimilation, they believed in Liberal- '^ -- 

ism, and that anti-Semitism was a passing phase to be cured by propa- ^ |*| -f^, 
ganda. They thought they could evade the course of history by 
declaring themselves Germans of the Mosaic faith, by denying the 
existence of a Jewish nation, by severing all the ties that bound them 
to Jewry, and by striking out the word "Zion" from their prayer 

The German Jews fed themselves on false hope, overlooked reality, 
dreamed of cosmopolitanism, of the time of Lessing and Mendelssohn. 
And this expressed itself in two ways; either they became Liberals, or 
they became the standard-bearers of Socialism. Both fields of activity 
furnished new food to anti-Semitism. 

In all good faith, to serve themselves and humanity, the Jews began 
to reach actively into the life of the German people. We trusted to the 
rights of democracy, and felt ourselves as equal citizens of the State, 
posed as censors, poured satire upon the Germans, considered our- 
selves as prophets, made revolutions, gave to the international prole- 
tariat a second Bible. . . . The Jew Lasalle organized the masses. The 
Jew Edward Bernstein popularized the Marxian ideology; and the 
Jews Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg brought the Spartacist 
movement to life. In Bavaria the Jew Kurt Eisner seized power. 
Against all this the German nation rebelled. She wanted to forge her 


own destiny and determine the future of her own children. Can wc 
blame her? 

We had not the power to transplant the ideas of Isaiah into the 
valleys of Germany, nor could we storm Valhalla with the Book of 
Amos; or rather, in so far as we succeeded, we buried the Jewish 
people under the ruins of a world that has collapsed. 

Let us try to understand the Hitler regime. Have not we Jews re- 
belled, and conducted bloody wars against everything foreign? What 
were the wars of the Maccabees but protests against a foreign, non- 
Jewish way of life? And of what else did the long fight of the 
Prophets consist? Surely of nothing else than eliminating foreign ele- 
ments and foreign gods, and of the keeping sacred the original nature 
of Jewry. Did we not rebel against the racially related Kings of the 
house of the Idumaeans? And did we not exclude the Samaritans 
from our community because they practiced mixed marriages? Why 
should not the German nationalists do the same? We must learn to 
look truth in the face. 

To dodge facts solves no problem. What is occurring to-day in 
Germany will come to-morrow in Russia. We shall have to pay dearly 
for the crimes of the Communist system, and for the fact that Trotzky, 
Joffe, Zinoviev had leading posts in Soviet Russia. 

Did not thousands of Jews lose their lives in Hungary because the 
Jew Bela Kun erected a Soviet Republic on the soil of Stephan the 
Holy? Hungarian Jews paid very dearly for their prophet. . . . 
Within the internationals the Jews are the most radical elements. Ger- 
mans, French, Poles, Czechs have a home, and their internationalism 
lives itself out in Germany, France, Poland, Czecho-Slovakia. It is 
only the Jews who have no home. The Jews Karl Liebknecht, Rosa 
Luxemburg, Kurt Eisner, Gustav Landauer; they, and the children of 
Liberalism, all surely desired the best, but they attained the opposite. 
They were cursed with blindness, they saw not the approach of 
catastrophe, they heard not the footfall of time — the heavy footfall of 
^1 * X the Nemesis of history. 

,. d # * * 

do In Hungary no one living during the Communist terror 

\^..,^ of 1918 forgets that nine-tenths of the Soviet Government 

v^as Jew^ish. The tv^^o most bloodthirsty savages w^ere the 
President, Aaron Cohen, alias Bela Kun, and Tibor Sza- 
muelly, his chief executioner. Both v/ere Jew^s. 


We must march ruthlessly on [said Kun, in one of his last speeches] 
and extirpate everything that impedes the consolidation of the prole- 
tariat. He who imagines that this can be done with gentleness is 
mightily mistaken, comrades! This sentimentality toward the bour- 
geoisie is not only a weakness, it is — I cannot repeat it too often — a 
clouding of the proletarian class consciousness. 

Why did we create the Dictatorship of the Proletariat? Not for the 
sake of that general principle of equality which bourgeois democracy 
proclaims, but solely to vindicate class differences, in order to overturn 
the bourgeois order of society, in order that the proletarian shall be 
the master in the future as the bourgeois has been master in the past; 
to make away with all power and rulership, but pending the time 
when this will be possible, to be sole and absolute ruler in the eco- 
nomic as well as the political iield. [Vigorous applause.] 

If anyone is suspected of being a counter-revolutionary [he con- 
tinued], let us not seek for so-called objective proofs of the fact; but 
let us decide ruthlessly, mercilessly, in good proletarian fashion, with 
no bureaucratic adherence to letter of the law, that he is a counter- 
revolutionary and must be dealt with as such. Comrades, I submit to 
the Committee the following brief resolution: "In view of the fact that 
the lenient application of the Dictatorship not only fails to bring the 
bourgeoisie to their senses but even encourages them to counter- 
revolutionary activities, the Central Executive Committee resolves to 
enforce the Dictatorship to the full, and in the most merciless manner, 
and instructs the Soviet Government to drown in blood, if necessary, 
the bourgeois counter-revolution!" [Vigorous applause.] 

The revolting cruelties of Kun, Szamuelly, Otto Korvin 
Klein, Eugene Hamburger, Bela Szanto (Schreiber), Bela 
Vago (Weiss), and subordinates such as Ascherowitz, 
Itzkowitz, Kereks, Goldberger, Lobl, Janosik, Dinnyes, 
IVleszared, Imre Dogei, Alex Pap, Joseph Gasper, Dezso 
Reiheimer, Arpad Cohen (who confessed to eighteen 
murders and three robberies), and Isidor Bergfeld (who 
confessed to 155 murders) will be indicated, although not 
fully described, in the chapter on Hungary. All these men 
were Jews. 

Dr. Eugene Hamburger, a Jewish surgeon who became 
Commissioner for Agriculture, wrote to a Zionist corre- 
spondent: "JViy good fellow, we mean to ruin the Chris- 


tian landlords first, then we shall send all the Christian 
officials and professors to the dogs; and when once 
the people have given in, and made up their minds to 
acquiesce in Communism, we can give up talking about 

And the people of Hungary have not forgotten that a 
young Jew, Leo Reiss, spat on the Host when it was being 
carried through the streets of Old Buda on the day of 
Corpus Christi, 1918. 

4^ jtf. ^ 

W "TT tP 

In France the Jews were comfortably established in the 
\ fifth century, for an edict of the Emperor Valentinian for- 

bade the Jewish community at Aries to possess Christian 
/ slaves. In a.d. 582 they had a synagogue in Paris. In a.d. 1182 
they were expelled, and again in 1306. In 13 15 they were 
Y i^ I back, only to be massacred, and again expelled in 1365. 

! / ij\ ^^ ^3^^ ^^^y were again massacred, and again expelled. 

So the killings and expulsions continued for four cen- 
L y-^ turies. In 1777 six Guilds of Paris merchants petitioned 

l^f^iL Louis XV against the admission of Jews. "These men," 
" '• ■ ^ the Guilds declared, "are like wasps that enter a hive to 

kill the bees. The Christian merchant conducts his business 
as an individual unit, whereas the Jews are always running 
together, like quicksilver." 

And so, to cut a long story short, we come to M. Leon 
Blum, the rich Socialist Jew, who gathered his racial kin 
/ about him like pellets of mercury during his two Premier- 

/' ships. 

; On the night M. Blum fell I heard a Paris cinema 

I audience hiss a newsreel in which he appeared. In the 

1 streets taxi-drivers were crying: "A bas les Juifs!" No doubt 

I M. Blum's book, Du Manage, in which he recommends 




y z^-^ 



girls to throw off their virginity gayly and early, has done '^A 

him serious harm in France, which is far stricter in its 
morals than some of us think. Abroad the book has been 
enthusiastically received, although I have heard it deplored 
— as well it may be — by a practicing Jew. 

"From morning to night," we read in one of the many 
anti-Semitic pamphlets recently published in Paris,"* "the 
French citizen pays his tribute to the tribes of Israel. His 1,^ ^^n 
coffee comes from the Cohens of Haifa; his bread has | J^ 
been handled by Louis-Dreyfus; when he listens to his 
radio he enriches the half-Jew, Louis Mercier; his news- 
papers are full of Jewish advertisements, especially of the of 
patent medicines of Levi and Vidal; the Intransigeant is 
owned by L. L. Dreyfus, the Populaire by Lazarus Brothers, 
the Figaro by M. Cotnareanu, the Petit Parisien and , c 
Excelsior by M. Braun, and the Stock Exchange swarms 
with Levis, Lazards, Rothschilds, Cohens, Davids, Weils, ^^ff^,_ 
Mayers, Sterns, Blochs, Baumanns, and their friends and 

To-day France is one of the most enjuive countries in 
Europe. The headquarters of the Comintern for Western 
Europe is in Paris, and its offices are full of Jews. ..^^ 

In England we find the Jews established in a.d. 740. ^-^ ^ '., 
William the Conqueror favored them, and at Oxford \ 
they later estabUshed three colleges, Lombard Hall, Moses ''^^^j 
Hall, and Jacob Hall. When Richard Coeur de Lion was 
crowned in 11 89, pogroms broke out in London, Norwich, ^^^ 
Edmundsbury, Stamford, and York. Under Henry III 
they v/ere accused of clipping the coin of the realm, and . *'0 

* Les Juifs an Pouvoir, by R. H. Petit. Centre de Documentation, 35, Rue 
Guersant, Paris 17, 1937. 


i'^ r' 



were compelled to pay 33 per cent of their property 
into the Exchequer. In 1290 they were expelled, after 
being robbed of most of their possessions; and they 
did not return in any numbers until the time of Crom- 

Since then the Jews have done much for England. Dis- 
raeli and the Rothschilds obtained for us the control of 
the Suez Canal. Jews have given England statesmen, pro- 
consuls, judges, merchant princes, and charitable benefactors, 
the latter out of all proportion to their number — 400,000 
— I per cent of the population. In finance their in- 
fluence is not as great as is generally supposed: there 
are no Jews on the board of the Bank of England, and 
there are only three Jews out of 150 directors in the Rye 
great Joint-Stock Banks. Private banks and issuing houses 
with Jewish capital are respected for their probity in the 

Jews did well in the Great War, volunteered in equal 
proportion to the remainder of the population, and served 
with equal courage in the front line, with 334 officers and 
2,091 men killed. 

On the other hand, far more than i per cent of 
fraudulent bankruptcies, fraudulent fires, and "long-firm" 
swindles are Jewish. Jews are not popular with insurance 
companies. The more our native doctors, dentists, and 
professors see of Jews the less they like them. They are 
not popular among the workers in the wholesale dress 
trade, where they predominate, and where they make 
women work long hours for small pay. Nor are they 
popular in the East End of London. Indeed, in England 
affection for Jews seems to vary inversely with the square 
of their distance. For those in Palestine we seemed at 
one time ready to disrupt the British Empire, but I hope, 

^Dt..4 m^"hf h.y Hv^^ D it' ail J 

1 ' IT I 

'•*'■ \ %. 

k kl <i ^h. I 


although I am by no means certain, that wiser counsels have 
now prevailed. 

Let us be honest with ourselves with regard to this shock- 
ing error which we have committed, and admit that we 
made contradictory promises to the Arabs and Jews concern- 
ing Palestine. 

Under the terms of a Covenant made between Sir Henry 
McMahon and the Sherif Hussein of Mecca on October 25th, 
1915, the Arabs fought for us in Palestine, believing that 
we would support the claim to an independent Arab king- 
dom in that country. 

But on November 2nd, 1917, we issued what is now known 
as the Balfour Declaration, which was in the form of a letter 
from the then Foreign Secretary: 

Foreign Office, 

November 2nd, 1917- 
Dear Lord Rothschild, 

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's 
Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish 
Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the 

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in 
Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people and will use 
their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it 
being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may 
prejudice the civil and religious right of existing non-Jewish com- 
munities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by 
the Jews in any other country." 

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the 
knowledge of the Zionist Federation. 

Yours sincerely, 

Arthur James Balfour. 

The year 1917 was for us the darkest in the Great War. 
The submarine campaign threatened us with the slow 
starvation which we were applying to our enemies. There 
was a deadlock on the Western Front. The French army 


had mutinied. Italy was on the eve of Caporetto. America 
had only started her preparations for war, and it was 
essential that she should throw her full weight into the 

"It was important for us," Mr. Lloyd George told the 
House of Commons recently (June 19, 1936), "to seek every 
legitimate help we could get. We came to the conclusion, 
from information we received from every part of the world, 
that it was vital we should have the sympathies of the 
Jewish community." 

So what did we do? We sold the Arabs to win the favor 
of the Jews, especially the Jews of the United States of 
America. Mr. Lloyd George justified this action by claim- 
ing that we had to reward Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the 
Zionist leader, who "saved the British Army at a moment 
when a particular ingredient essential for our guns was 
exhausted." But were we unable to find anything which 
was ours to give to Dr. Weizmann ? 

Englishmen are still respected for their honesty in the 
East, but unless we acknowledge that we made a terrible 
blunder, in going behind the back of the Arabs who were 
fighting for us in order to please the Jews who were financing 
us, our credit cannot long endure. No member of the 
Government that was responsible for this betrayal, and no 
politician that now upholds it, should ever receive the 
suffrage of British electors. The incident is one of the blackest 
pages of our history. 

Lord Grey put the position clearly in the House of Lords 
on March 27th, 1923: 

I suggest [he said] that the best way of clearing our honour in this 
matter is officially to publish the whole of the engagements relating 
to the matter which we entered into during the war. ... I think 
that we are placed in considerable difficulty by the Balfour Declara- 
tion itself. ... It promised a Zionist home without prejudice to the 
civil and religious rights of the population of Palestine. A Zionist 
home, my Lords, undoubtedly means or implies a Zionist Govern- 


ment over the district in which the home is placed, and if 93 per cent 
of the population of Palestine are Arabs, I do not see how you can 
establish other than an Arab Government, without prejudice to their 
civil rights. That one sentence alone of the Balfour Declaration seems 
to me to involve, without overstating it, exceedingly great difficulty of 
fulfilment. ... It would be very desirable, from the point of view 
of honour, that all these various pledges should be set out side by side, 
and then, I think, the most honourable thing would be to look at 
them fairly, see what inconsistencies there are between them, and, 
having regard to the nature of each pledge and the date at which it 
was given, with all the facts before us, consider what is the fair thing 
to be done. 

Lord Buckmaster, then Lord Chancellor, was more 
emphatic. He declared that the McMahon-Hussein corre- 
spondence "showed unmistakably that there had not been 
something in the nature of casual inconsistency between 
different announcements at various times, as Lord Grey 
suggested, but that a deliberate pledge had been given on 
the one hand, and had been abandoned on the other." 
Nothing could be plainer. It is deplorable that Mr. Win- 
ston Churchill should ever have prostituted his talents by 
upholding the quite untenable proposition that Palestine had 
not been promised to the Arabs. 

Lately the McMahon-Hussein correspondence has been 
the subject of further inquiry by the present Lord Chan- 
cellor, who has found that the British Government have 
no right to allow the continued immigration of Jews against 
the wishes of Palestinians (which we have permitted for 
twenty years) and that the Arab case "has greater force than 
appeared hitherto." 

The plain fact is that we cannot compel the Palestinians 
to accept domination by strangers, except by force of 
arms. Our final settlement has not been published as 
these lines are written, but unless there is a clear and 
unequivocal promise to the Arabs that they shall have 
self-government soon — in a much briefer period than the 


ten years suggested — there is bound to be further blood- 
shed. Once we have given representative government to 
the Arabs, how^ever, there is no reason v^hy adequate safe- 
guards should not be arranged for the Jew^s now^ in 
Palestine. It is only political Zionism — the ambition to 
dominate all Palestine — that the Arabs w^ill resist to the 
death, and that all patriotic Englishmen should also resist. 
In India, and throughout all the Moslem w^orld, resent- 
ment is rising at our strange reluctance to deal fairly with 
this small and distracted country. I pray that our Govern- 
ment will be rightly guided, and will write finis to this 
most deplorable chapter in our history. 

To-day there are 400,000 Jews in Palestine, where there 
were only some 80,000 living in 191 8. The Arabs are 
nearly a million strong, with the whole Moslem world 
behind them, stretching from Tangier to Calcutta. For 
the last three years the situation has been growing steadily 
worse, for the Arabs are no more content than we should 
be to see their native land a refuge for a host of aliens, 
however unfortunate and deserving they may be. To speak 
in this connection of the economic benefits which the Arabs 
may derive from Jewish capital is only adding insult to 

That the Jews are aliens in Palestine would be denied 
by Zionists, whose dream of "next year in Jerusalem" 
arouses sympathy even in quarters which realize the im- 
possibility of its practical fulfillment. But the great majority 
of Jews who are entering Palestine, still at the rate of a 
thousand a month, have only the most remote ties with the 
Holy Land, and are as foreign to it as an Italian would be 
who claimed the soil of England because the Romans once 
occupied it. 

Moreover, as Lord Lymington has pointed out,''^ the 

♦ The New Pioneer, December, 1938. 


Palestine Economic Corporation, which controls the Cen- 
tral Bank of Co-operative Institutions, the Loan Bank, the 
Palestine Mortgage and Credit Bank, Palestine Mining 
Syndicate, Ltd., Bayside Land Corporation, Ltd., and 
Palestine Hotels, Ltd., may be said to be the real owner — >.,, 
or at any rate a very important real estate owner — of ''^ <^ 
Palestine. And who, we may ask, are the directors of this ^ , 
great financial syndicate.^ They are twenty-four gentle- ^.S^/,; 
men of New York, with only one British-sounding name ^^^'j 
among them — David A. Brown. It is a safe bet that the o 
ancestors of the majority of these gentlemen, whose inter- ^*»w^ 
ests are being safeguarded by British soldiers in Palestine, -b '^ 
once worshiped the Golden Calf. For them we are yy *>^''/ 
risking our traditional friendship with the whole Islamic v . 
world. y^q^:, 

Palestine, even if we could make all its small territory ,jc^ 

into a National Home for the Jews (which would necessi- 

\^ tate fighting a Holy War against Islam), is not big enough 

^' to provide for a twentieth part of the 16,000,000 scattered 

^.* Children of Israel. *■ / 1^ fu j ^ * I ^ ^ ig^ 

J*t Sooner or later we shall have to agree with the French 


^.^ to amalgamate the country with Syria — they should never 
y"^ have been separated — and give the combined territory back p/M 
fC*to the Arabs. The Jews might then have an autonomous U ^ t 
enclave, subject to Arab suzerainty, but no more. Christen- ^ « 
dom cannot be plunged into chaos in order to restore the i ^'^ 
> lost kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The Holy Places, how- -^ . 
/ ever, should be guaranteed by us, to all faiths. ^ ^ / 

Is it impossible then to fulfill our pledge to the Jews? i*i/>«/t, 
After all, we have found homes for 400,000 of them in 
Palestine. But can we do more? The whole world would ^ er <^:^ 
be relieved if this talented and courageous race could once 
more become a nation in fact as well as name and if we 
heard no more of the Jews except as a people concerned 
with its own affairs. 

#-■*■- ■ ' »^ 


Will the Powers agree to make over some of their terri- 
tories, and will the Jews desire to embark on such an 
U^i^^ immense pioneering experiment as the foundation of a 
Jewish Dominion would entail ? Time alone can show. 
The prospects are not at the moment encouraging. The 
^■-h,' Soviet colony of Biro Bidjan appears to have been a failure, 

and capitalist Jews can hardly be blamed for not desiring 
'^^ '^ to live under Stalin. (But surely Communist refugees of 
all kinds should go to Russia?) Great vision and enor- 
I mous loans will be required for the projects of mass- 

if emigration now being considered. Let us hope that some- 

thing will come of them, and that it may be possible to 
establish the center of the Dominion somewhere in Palestine 
^^ * ,v-^ * —say, Tel Aviv— in agreement with the Arabs, and under 

V an mternational guarantee. 

' f ^ ''■ Given such a linking-up— it could hardly be called a 
5-r *** - gathering— of the tribes of Israel, the new Jewish Dominion 

would threaten no other nation, for it would be too dis- 
persed to engage in warlike adventures, but it would be 
an important new factor in world-commerce. 

Jews would no longer suffer from the dual allegiance of 

Zion and the land of their birth. Zionists would look to 

Palestine, and although only the more fortunate among 

^ y them could live there, they could all journey, in body or 

l'^^ I ^ in spirit, to the Temple of their nation, rebuilt in the land 

of their fathers. For the first time for centuries they would 

have a national culture freed of all alien influence. With 

their great energy and great wealth, they might send 

their ships afar, open up new lands, make discoveries, 

write masterpieces, build anew the Ark of their faith as 

t it was in the days of Solomon. On the other hand, 

^^ Jews who are anti-Zionist, and are acceptable to the 

1^1^ countries where they live, would have additional security 

^^fv there. i 





I would not allow any more Jews to enter England, but * "31 

I would like every Jew born in this country to be proud , .^ 

of his British citizenship. I would like every Jew to be 
asked if he wants to be an Englishman or a Zionist. The 
two are incompatible. If he wants to be an Englishman 
he should disinterest himself entirely in Zionism, and in .^v . 

all Jewish international affairs, except religious affairs. It / '/ 
should be clearly understood that no Jew can have two '^U ^ ,' 
political loyalties. \^ - -^ 

If, on the other hand, a Jew desires to be a Zionist, 
then, even if he cannot immediately go to Zion (wher- ^^^^^ l^ 
ever that Dominion may in due course be established) 
he should be given a Zionist passport, and not be allowed * 
to take part in the political life of Great Britain, though ' 
he would be treated with all the courtesy due to a 

Jews who decided to retain their British passports would 
be required to identify themselves completely with British 
interests. Here an obvious difficulty arises: some Jews will -% ^i^ 

claim that Zionism is a British interest, and it may be H^«^ 
difficult to compel them to take Zionist passports. Legal ^....^1^' 

measures would have to be devised, but their application 
would not necessarily be frequent. We could rely, I be- ^^^«c\. 
lieve, on Jewish organizations such as the Board of Deputies 
to see to it that Jews lived under their true designation. 
The Board of Deputies could decide in the first instance 
whether a Jew is a Zionist or not, for it would be to the 
interest of all practicing Jews to see that their people do 
not all suffer from the increasing resentment which political 
Zionism will arouse in this country. Only in disputed cases 
would the Courts decide. 

Many prominent and respected Jews in this country are 
anti-Zionist: they would continue to enjoy the full rights 
of British citizenship, with the added safeguard that they 
would be completely disassociated — as many of them desire 



to be to-day — from the intrigues and quarrels of inter- 
national Jewry. 
International Jewry might or might not form the sug- 
^' gested Dominion of Zion under the aegis of the British 

/Empire. Whether or not it were part of our Empire, 
( k^ V Zionists would at any rate be clearly labeled. Not all 

Jd (i^ Jewish Zionists are practicing Jews, it must be remembered: 
^\}A%i^t indeed, a considerable number of them are Communists. 
How the religious Zionists would deal with their back- 
sliders would be none of our affair. 
^ ^?0i|f^t Given the establishment of a Dominion of Zion (a large 
^-^f^ T5* postulate, I admit) this scheme of special passports should 
dispel the anti-Semitism which is now growing in this 
^"^ ^ country. The Jews have great possibilities when stand- 

S'^ V' ^^^ °^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^* ^^ ^^ ^^^ want them standing 
I ^^ I on ours. 




<:%^.T,.,,, ^^ 

ju<.l ^^^\^-^^^^i^¥KA hd m-^Ar 

^-j,^ A 


The German Protectorates 


.HE break-up of Czecho-Slovakia is a bitter story for 
those who had hoped, as I did, that a settlement with 
Germany was possible this year. Excuses and explana- 
tions for her action can be found, both in history and 
in the immediate consequences of the Slovak secession (to 
be discussed later), but the main fact, overshadowing all 
others, is that by her disregard of previous pledges she has 
shaken our trust. Without confidence there can be no 

The shadow of the Holy Roman Empire existed long 
after its substance had departed, for a centralizing force 
is essential — and always has been — to the peace of Cen- 
tral Europe. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed 
under the stresses of the Great War, we set up in its place 
the equally ramshackle Czecho-Slovakia, substituting a 
democratic State for a dynastic Empire. But Dr. Benes 
dealt even less kindly with minorities than did the Emperor 
Francis Joseph. Now Hitler assumes the burden of 
managing 7,000,000 Czechs and 2,000,000 Slovaks, and 
will find them more difficult neighbors than we find the 

But it is a superficial and unsound view of Europe that 
sees in German intrigue the reason for the death of Czecho- 
slovakia. Czecho-Slovakia died of internal dissension: 
nothing but force could have held her together. The 
Germans had only to wait. Instead, they swooped with 
a haste that nearly provoked a world war in 1938, and which 
aroused the resentment of all their neighbors in March, 1939. 



In order to appreciate these events in their proportion, 
it is necessary to go back at least as far as May, 1938, 
when the Czechs disseminated a purely fictitious account 
of a German mobiHzation, and themselves mobilized. From 
that day tension mounted in all the Chancelleries of Europe, 
until the crisis of September developed to the terrible con- 
clusion that v^^e might have to fight a vi^orld v^ar about 
a matter on v^hich virtual agreement had already been 
reached. We need not go into the rights and v^rongs of 
the Sudeten case here, beyond quoting Lord Runciman's 
admirable letter to Mr. Neville Chamberlain of September 
2ist, 1938: 

It is a hard thing [he wrote] to be ruled by an alien race; and I 
have been left with the impression that Czecho-Slovak rule in the 
Sudeten areas for the last twenty years, though not actively oppres- 
sive and certainly not "terroristic," has been marked by tactlessness, 
lack of understanding, petty intolerance and discrimination, to a point 
where the resentment of the German population was inevitably mov- 
ing in the direction of revolt. 

The Sudeten Germans felt, too, that in the past they had been 
given many promises by the Czecho-Slovak Government, but that litde 
or no action had followed these promises. 

Local irritations were added to these major grievances. Czech 
officials and Czech police, speaking little or no German, were ap- 
pointed in large numbers to purely German districts; Czech agricul- 
tural colonists were encouraged to setde on land transferred under 
the Land Reform in the middle of German populations; for the chil- 
dren of these Czech invaders Czech schools were built on a large 
scale; there is a very general belief that Czech firms were favored as 
against German firms in the allocation of State contracts and that the 
State provided work and relief for Czechs more readily than for Ger- 
mans. I believe these complaints to be in the main justified. 

All these, and other, grievances were intensified by the reactions of 
the economic crisis on the Sudeten industries, which form so impor- 
tant a part of the life of the people. 

At the time of my arrival, the more moderate Sudeten leaders still 
desired a settlement within the frontiers of the Czecho-Slovak State. 
They realized what war would mean in the Sudeten area, which 
would itself be the main battlefield. Both nationally and internation- 


ally such a settlement would have been an easier solution than terri- 
torial transfer. I did my best to promote it, and up to a point with 
some success, but even so not without misgiving as to whether, when 
agreement was reached, it could ever be carried out without giving 
rise to a new crop of suspicions, controversies, accusations and counter- 
accusations. I felt that any such arrangement would have been tem- 
porary, not lasting. 

One wonders when the advice which the letter contains 
was first tendered. Had it been acted on at the end of 
August instead of at the end of September, Czecho-Slovakia 
might still be a sovereign State. If Lord Runciman was 
right in his views in September, as he certainly was, how 
came it that the British Cabinet and the British public were 
previously so sadly misinformed ? Or did the Cabinet know 
the facts but hesitate to act on them for fear of a public 
opinion which had been spoon-fed with anti-German 
propaganda ? 

Herr Kundt, one of the Parliamentary leaders of the 
Sudeten party, told the Czechs on August 17th, regarding 
their offer of "self-administration" in four districts which 
had been divided so that in not one of them would the 
Germans have had a majority: "You still regard the State 
as your State. You do not want to concede to the other 
nationalities anything but a subordinate position. What 
you have suggested as self-government is nothing but a 

The Czech military occupation was in full swing. Brawls 
were frequent, especially at the week-ends, when the 
burghers of Bohemia drink hard after hard days of labor. 
Black eyes and sore heads were inevitable, but presently 
men were killed on both sides. 

France called certain categories of reservists to the colors. 
Two Italian cruisers, due to leave Naples on a world tour, 
were ordered to join their stations. . . . The Nazi Rally 
at Nuremberg was staged to a crescendo of hate against 


the Czechs, but Herr Hitler's final speech, on September 
i2th, while fiery in manner, did not exclude the possibility 
of a peaceful solution, provided that there were fundamental 
internal changes in Czecho-Slovakia : obviously a plebiscite 
was in his mind. 

Italy emphasized and developed the plebiscite idea. 
"Henceforth," said Mussolini, "there are only two pos- 
sible solutions. The first is to give the Sudeten Germans 
the means to determine their own future; the other is to 
deny them that right. To give the Sudetenland the possi- 
bility of seceding from Prague is to choose the task of 
justice and peace. The other solution is that of confusion 
and war." 

In an open letter to Lord Runciman, Signor Mussolini 
said that if Herr Hitler were given the Czechs "he would 
not know what to do with them." Were millions of 
young men throughout Europe to die merely to give the 
Bolsheviks their long-desired opportunity for a world 
war? . . . 

* * 

On Thursday, September 15th, Mr. Neville Chamber- 
lain, in his seventieth year, and a novice in air travel, set 
off from Heston airdrome with his famous umbrella. 
The twin-engined Lockhead Electra took off in brilliant 

A crowd of 4,000 Germans greeted him at Munich air- 
port, and other large crowds cheered him on his way to 
Berchtesgaden. "Surely never before did the head of a for- 
eign Government get such a friendly ovation from the people 
of another State threatened to be engulfed in war." So wrote 
The Times correspondent. 

For three hours Mr. Chamberlain and Herr Hitler talked 
together (unfortunately through an interpreter). Mr. Cham- 


berlain said to his host that his visit was useless if Germany 
intended to invade Czecho-Slovakia. Herr Hitler replied that 
if Great Britain accepted the principle of self-determination 
(i.e., if she consented to an immediate plebiscite) he would 
hold his hand. Mr. Chamberlain returned to consult the 

Meanwhile the situation had deteriorated. Herr Hen- 
lein published a manifesto which ended: "We wish to 
be home in the Reich! God bless us and our just fight!" 
He had come to the end of compromises. So had Dr. 
Benes, for he issued a decree, on September i6th, dis- 
solving the Sudeten German Party, and ordering all arms 
in possession of the civilian population in Bohemia to be 

Herr Henlein and most of the Sudeten leaders crossed 
the frontier into Bavaria. Anarchy reigned in parts of the 
Sudetenland, and Communists began to hope that their 
day had come. 

Dr. Hodza, the Prime Minister, broadcast a proclama- 
tion that the Government would not accept a plebiscite 
and would not surrender Sudeten territory on any account. 
On September i8th Herr Henlein announced the forma- 
tion of an armed Free Corps, composed of fugitives from 
the Sudetenland. Its members rapidly increased from 10,000 
to 100,000. 

In London that night — the i8th — while thousands prayed 
in Westminster Abbey for a peace of reconciliation and 
justice, a meeting of the International Peace Campaign was 
addressed by Miss Wilkinson, Miss Rathbone, and Mr. 
Wilfred Roberts on "The Rule of Law," urging Great 
Britain to "stand firm" and to concede nothing to Germany. 
Afterwards part of the audience marched to Downing Street, 
where the French and British statesmen were conferring, 
and cried: "Stand by the Czechs!" They were booed by 
crowds in Whitehall. 


Mr. Attlee, in Limehouse, said that the Labor Party 
stood "for freedom, for democracy, and for the rights of 
all free peoples." He expressed his sympathy with "those 
splendid, courageous German Social Democrats, the Cath- 
olics, the Jews, and with all good democrats and lovers 
of liberty," but he did not mention the Sudetens. Toward 
the end of his speech there were cries of "Attlee wants 

On September 19th the Anglo-French proposals for peace 
in Czecho-Slovakia were sent to Prague. They were even 
more drastic than the Czechs had feared. The Sudeten 
districts were to be handed over to Germany without a 
plebiscite, and the frontiers of Bohemia, on which they 
had spent ;r 80,000,000, were to be surrendered forthwith. 
... It was hard. The Council of Ministers sat through 
the night and most of the following day. It was not until 
the morning of September 21st that a reply was drafted 
in the terms required. Better to yield the Sudetenland than 
to be destroyed as a State. 

Mr. Chamberlain now decided on a second meeting 
with Herr Hitler, thinking his task was half done, for 
the only matter to discuss was how the German occupa- 
tion was to be carried out. Early next morning, September 
22nd, while he was on his way to Bad Godesberg, the 
Czecho-Slovak Government fell, and in place of Dr. Hodza, 
General Sirovy was appointed Prime Minister and Secretary 
for War. That night Czech armored cars entered Falkenau, 
Graslitz, and Neudeck, and Dr. Benes ordered full mobiliza- 
tion of all classes up to forty years of age. "Citizens," he 
said in a proclamation, "the decisive moment has arrived. 
Keep calm, be brave and faithful. Your struggle is for justice 
and your Fatherland. Long live free Czecho-Slovakia!" 
All the Sudetenland was packed with Czech troops. Obvi- 
ously Dr. Benes still hoped for some miracle on the part of 
his friends. 


The Secretary of the French Communist Party hurried 
from Paris to Prague. The League of Nations Union pro- 
tested against the "dishonorable" attitude of the British 
Government. The Women's International League of Peace 
and Freedom telegraphed to Lord Halifax, calling upon 
him to declare publicly "that Czecho-Slovakia will not be 
called upon to make any further sacrifices." The Inter- 
national Peace Campaign held numerous meetings through- 
out England, and distributed 5,000,000 leaflets criticizing 
Mr. Chamberlain's diplomacy, and repeating the old story 
about the Sudetens being "the best-treated minority in 

Mr. Chamberlain met Herr Hitler at Godesberg at 
4 p.m. on September 22nd. He had come with proposals 
that an International Commission should demarcate the 
new frontiers of Czecho-Slovakia and arrange for the 
transfer of populations by December 15th. Herr Hitler 
replied that these plans were too dilatory and offered too 
many opportunities for further evasion on the part of the 
Czechs. He wanted to occupy the Sudetenland imme- 

Mr. Chamberlain retired to his hotel to consider what 
to do. Evidently Herr Hitler was difficult to deal with. 
What was the good of shouting and raving about the 
Sudetens? The problem could be setded calmly, given 
reasonable time for the transfer of territory and popula- 
tion. So Mr. Chamberlain decided to write a letter, and 
sent it soon after breakfast on the morning of September 
23rd, outlining his objections to the suddenness of the 
German plan. Herr Hitler's answer did not arrive until 
the afternoon, and contained no modification (although 
further explanation) of his original proposals. Mr. Chamber- 
lain thereupon decided to return to London. At half- 
past ten that night he went to say good-by to Herr Hitler 
(thinking, one must suppose, that war was now almost 


inevitable), and received from him the memorandum con- 
taining the German demands. "I spoke very frankly," he 
told the House of Commons. "I dwelt with all the emphasis 
at my command on the risks which would be incurred 
by insisting on such terms, and on the terrible conse- 
quences of war, if war ensued. I declared that the language 
and the manner of the document, which I described as an 
ultimatum rather than a memorandum, would profoundly 
shock public opinion in neutral countries, and I bitterly 
reproached the Chancellor for his failure to respond 
in any way to the efforts which I had made to secure 

If this interview were ever published, I believe that even 
Germans would admit — perhaps not now, but in a not- 
distant future — that Mr. Chamberlain talked sense, and that 
Herr Hitler indulged in racial rodomontade. 

On the night of September 26th the German Chancellor 
spoke before a huge audience in the Sports Palast in Berlin. 
He said that he had suggested to Mr. Chamberlain: 

{a) That there should be a plebiscite in the disputed 

{b) That the plebiscite might be controlled by an inter- 
national commission. 

{c) That the German Army might withdraw, and that 
its place might be taken by 10,000 men of the British Legion, 
to supervise the voting. 

And, further, and even more important, Herr Hitler 
declared : 

{d) "This is the last territorial claim which I have to 
make in Europe." 

{e) "I shall not be interested in the Czech State any 
more, and I can guarantee it. We don't want any Czechs 
any more." 

This sounded fair enough, but some of us who heard 
the speech, and were admirers of Herr Hitler, thought that 


his voice mounted sometimes to the verge of insanity. After 
all, w^hy lash himself into a fury over Dr. Benes ? However, 
the speech wsls decidedly conciliatory to England, and 
stated also that "a great nation like Poland must have an 
outlet to the sea." 

Nevertheless wc v^ere close to v^ar on September 27th. 
Trenches v^ere dug in all the London parks: at night the 
work continued by the light of flares and motor headlights. 
The Fleet was mobilized ("as a purely precautionary 
measure," whatever that might mean) and the War Office 
called up the Air Force and anti-aircraft reserves. Twenty 
million gas masks and 66,000,000 sandbags were issued. 
Loud-speaker vans patroled the London streets, telling the 
public where to go to have their masks fitted. An exodus 
began, chiefly of frightened aliens, who crowded the Irish 
mail trains and all the highways to the south and west 
of England. School-children were packed off for a "crisis 
holiday." Business was at a standstill; and an old lady put 
her goldfish into the Round Pond, "to give them a sporting 
chance in the air-raids," she explained. 

"How horrible, fantastic, and incredible it is," said Mr. 
Chamberlain, broadcasting that night, "that we should be 
digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of 
a quarrel in a far-away country." 

It was indeed; but no man had done more to save the 
peace of Europe. He had to take Great Britain as she was. 
We were living amid illusions, both as to our own situation 
and as to the situation abroad. 

In the light of what we now know about the state of our 
defenses, it is likely that a revolution would have occurred 
in this country had war been declared, and had we been 
bombed, when the public discovered that it had been 
plunged into hostilities without adequate means of defense 
or offense. 

And plunged into hostilities for what.f^ Not for Czecho- 


Slovakia surely, which had refused to give the Sudeten 
Germans their undoubted rights. If the Isle of Wight had 
been occupied for tw^enty years by foreigners, v^ho had 
maltreated our kinsmen there, v^ould we not have done 
much what the Germans did in September, 1938? . . . 
(We would not have done what they did in March, 1939, 
but that is another story.) And how, in any event, could 
we have prevented the Germans from taking the Sudeten- 
land ? Would we have bombed Berlin, with our then pitiably 
small Air Force ? Would the French have crossed the Rhine ? 
And if they had, how would they have been able to help 
Czecho-Slovakia, at the other side of Europe ? As Lord Chat- 
field said: "What is the good of saying to a man in a lion's 
den, 'Never mind if he does eat you: I'm going to stop his 
rations in the future'?" 

M, ^ ^ 

Hr ^r tF 

Amid the thunder of rival propaganda an occasional 
lightning-flash lit up the situation in September, 1938. 

First, we saw all the belli-pacilists of the world egging 
on to battle the soldiers to whom they had until recently 
begrudged arms and equipment. In England the League 
of Nations Union was loud in its demands "to stand up to 
the dictators," and even the Manchester Guardian wrote 
that "we shall not compel respect by weakness." In France, 
even more unprepared than this country, M. Leon Blum, 
M. Cot, M. Paul-Boncour and all their tribe were preaching 
the inevitability of conflict, and sometimes actually foment- 
ing it. Anyone who now re-reads the Left-Wing news- 
papers published during the Munich crisis is forced to the 
conclusion that parallel with the mobilization of armies ran 
an occult mobilization of Comintern propaganda, which was 
broken only by Mr. Chamberlain's journeys and conversa- 

Secondly, we see that in times of tension both democ- 


racies and dictatorships depend for their decisions on the 
will of a few men, or the will of one man consulting two 
or three colleagues. We see Mr. Chamberlain consulting 
Lord Halifax, Sir John Simon and Sir Samuel Hoare, and 
with them making decisions of which even the remainder 
of the Cabinet was unaware. But was Mr. Chamberlain a 
tyrant because he flew to Berchtesgaden with Sir Horace 
Wilson, while the chief experts in the Foreign Office were 
left behind, and while a powerful Press was demanding 
that we should support the Czechs? Certainly not. The 
role was forced on him by the pressure of events. It is a true 
and sinister paradox that if he had not acted as a dictator, 
a minority of mugwumps would have forced us into war 
against the will of the people. 

Finally, one has an impression of the large amount of 
real understanding and goodwill existing to-day among 
the peoples of Europe. I was in Italy during September. 
Not by a word or look was I ever made to feel that I might 
soon be a potential enemy. It was the same in England, 
in France, and in Germany, where no one thought of trans- 
ferring political prejudice to their individual contacts v/ith 
visitors. People travel more. The horizons of goodwill have 
enlarged, in spite of mephitic clouds of propaganda (on 
both sides), and in spite of German arrogance. 

In spite also of the failure of the Czechs as rulers. As 
masters of Czecho-Slovakia, they behaved in an intolerable 
way to all their minorities.* Nor did they learn wisdom 
when German troops began to march into the Sudetenland. 
It would be a weary and fruitless task to apportion respon- 
sibility as between the intrigues of the Czechs and the 
intrigues of their enemies: the fact remains that the Czech 
Government could not placate the autonomists of either 
Slovakia or Ruthenia, where confusion became worse con- 
founded from October, 1938, to March, 1939. 

* See Appendix IV. 


On March 8th, 1939, President Hacha — probably against 
his better judgment — allowed the Czech Army to dissolve 
the Slovak Government of Father Tiso. It v^as the begin- 
ning of the end. The action was unconstitutional, and 
against the wishes of the people, who were wholeheartedly 
in favor of secession. "Rather union with Germany than 
remain with the Czechs!" they cried in the streets of 
Bratislava. No doubt some of these demonstrations were 
prompted by Germany, but the Slovak demand was a cry 
from the heart, and was backed by the whole force of the 
nation. There were many casualties between Hlinka Guards 
and Czech troops. 

Father Tiso flew to Berlin on March 13th, conferred 
all night with Herr Hitler, flew back at dawn to Brati- 
slava, and secured the unanimous assent of the Slovak 
deputies to the independence of their country. On the 
morning of March 14th, 1939, Czecho-Slovakia ceased to 

On the same day President Hacha asked for an inter- 
view with Herr Hitler, and hurried to Berlin. Exagger- 
ated and absurd accounts of what passed at this interview 
have found currency in anti-Nazi circles. Czecho-Slovakia 
was no more. Czech troops from Ruthenia and from 
Slovakia were pouring back into Bohemia. They were in 
a bitter mood, yet obviously the army would have to be 
reduced, and finances drastically adjusted. There was 
already a strong pro-German party in Bohemia, and a 
considerable body of Czech opinion, under a respected and 
so-called Fascist leader, had always been strongly anti- 
Benes. President Hacha was not bluffed or browbeaten 
into asking for the protection of Germany. What else 
could he have done ? Seek support from Poland, who would 
have been glad enough to obtain the Skoda Works? Or 
ask France to interfere, tied as she is to the Soviet Pact? 
We must remember that the Czechs do not love France 


and England: compared to us they think the Germans 
angels of honesty. President Hacha consulted General Sirovy, 
the veteran leader, who is blindly trusted by the Czech 
Army, and he agreed that German protection was neces- 

But what justification was there for the tanks, the air- 
planes, and the Gestapo that descended so swiftly on 
Bohemia on March 15th? Where was the hurry? What 
reason was there for not consulting France, Italy, and 
Great Britain, as Herr Hitler had promised in Munich? 
The reasons given are entirely unconvincing. Either Herr 
Hitler made a serious blunder, which is always possible in 
a dictatorship so absolute as his; or else his aim is the 
military conquest of Southeastern Europe. We shall soon 

The first motorized column of Germans entered Prague 
at 9 a.m. on March 15th. Herr Hitler arrived that night 
in a snowstorm, and erected his personal standard on the 
famous Hradschin Castle. Immediately the German Secret 
Police began to make arrests, and 5,000 citizens were taken 
into custody that night. "I never knew that Prague could 
look so beautiful," Herr Hitler is reported to have said, 
as he looked out next morning over the city of good King 
Wenceslas. . . . 

Bohemia and Moravia will certainly enjoy material 
prosperity as autonomous Protectorates under Greater 
Germany, but they will equally certainly be discontented. 
However, they will be disarmed. . . . Hungary will not 
be disarmed, nor will she disintegrate as did Czecho- 
slovakia. Yugoslavia may or may not be able to fight for 
her existence. Poland and Rumania certainly will. Ger- 
many's position in Central Europe is not as strong as it 
looks on paper. She is surrounded by nations that do not 
trust her, and the "Ireland" she has created has no sea to 
divide her from recalcitrant Czechs and stubborn Slovaks. 


The Austro-Hungarian Empire was illogical and theoreti- 
cally unsound, but it worked, after a fashion, because it 
was tolerant, and its failings were human failings. The 
Hitler Empire has yet to prove itself. Herr Hitler is not a 
Prussian, but the Prussian element is strong in his admin- 
istration, and it is hated in Central Europe. 

Slovakia had fought for her freedom for twenty years, 
during which time many of her people had come to hate 
the Czechs bitterly. After October, 1938, a wise Govern- 
ment in Prague might have held the country together by 
a frank recognition of the federal nature of the new State. 
But the Czech Army would have nothing to do with 
autonomy: the Narodne Jednota still believed that the 
methods by which it had made Czecho-Slovakia could 
hold it together against the wishes of its "minorities." The 
Slovaks found the Czechs intolerable neighbors, and Ger- 
many yielded to the temptation of ending an impossible 
situation by violence. It is the kind of temptation we our- 
selves never resisted in the days when we built our Empire. 
Especially in India, we marched from annexation to an- 
nexation, against the active hostility of France, and we were 
welcomed (and distrusted) by the Princes of Bengal, Oudh, 
and the Panjab, just as Germany has been greeted in Prague, 
Briinn, and Bratislava. In those days, alas ! we made promises 
to the Indians which we did not keep, as Hitler has been 
doing to us. 

On a short view, Germany's action has brought her 
rich rewards: ;r28,ooo,ooo in gold or foreign exchange — 
the huge Skoda Works, employing 50,000 men working 
day and night on armaments — other valuable industries — 
the complete disarmament of the well-equipped Czech 
Army, and the acquisition of all its stores. But on a long 
view Germany is weakened by her Protectorates. Weakened, 
first and foremost, as I have already said, by her breach of 
faith, but also because Herr Himmler was right in what 


he said to Sir Philip Gibbs in May, 1938:* "We don't 
want Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenians, or other non- 
Germanic peoples within our frontiers. As for Mr. Napo- 
leon, we have read a little history, and we know what 
happened to him. We know that if we pursued that poHcy 
it would be for Germany the road to ruin. We shan't go 
that way." Now both Germany and Italy have gone that 
way, and have strengthened their material frontiers at the 
cost of psychological factors. The Germans have over- 
reached themselves, as they did in the Great War when 
they declared unrestricted submarine warfare and brought 
the United States to the side of the Allied Powers. 

We must beware of a geo-political romanticism which 
sees all Europe as a potential battlefield, where politicians 
are scheming for strategic advantages. No doubt War 
Offices everywhere are doing so. In the past we took 
Gibraltar and Malta (for instance) to secure our position 
in the Mediterranean. But Europe is a potential play- 
ground and garden as well as a potential battlefield. Men 
everywhere genuinely do want peace. Herr Hitler assumed 
the protection of Slovakia, for instance, in order to save her 
from Hungary, who threatened (and is still threatening) 
to invade her. The Slovaks were united in little except their 
anti-Czechism and anti-Semitism, but they were united also 
in asking the Germans to help them. To-day they have 
stability, at the price of a certain surrender of liberty (and 
a certain gain in liberty, for the Czech dominion was more 
galling than the German) and they are delighted {pace 
Pertinax, Tabouis, and Co.) to allow German troops to 
fortify their frontiers. 

Germany has behaved badly toward us, let it be re- 
peated emphatically, and has made it impossible for us to 
reach an understanding without taking off our coat and 
getting ready for a fight. The same is true of Italy. It is 

* Sir Philip Gibbs in a letter to The Times on March i8th, 1939. 


waste of time to complain. We shall need our breath to 
convince the Balkans that we are not secretly supporting 
Bolshevism. Is it to be a just peace, by reason and recon- 
ciliation, or a knock-out blow ? I have endeavored to consider 
these problems as a whole at the end of the chapter on the 

• »> - >» - »> - »> - » >-» > - »>»»» - » >- >» ^C^C«-C<C'<^C <C - «< 'C « -C « -C<C «C -C < ^ 

No! No! Never! 

.UNGARY Stands on the brink of great events: one 
cannot be in Budapest nowadays without feeling that 
history is being made there. But instead of discussing 
politics one is tempted to dance all night to the music of 
gypsy violins. One is tempted, and yields. One crosses the 
Danube as the sun is rising, sees the sumpter horses of 
peasants bringing in their produce, and steamers bowing 
as they pass up river (they have hinged funnels), and 
the quiet, graceful streets of Old Buda in the dawnlight. 
. . . And then one plunges into a cool bath of effervescent 

For sheer joy of living and beauty of surroundings, Buda- 
pest is a city unrivaled. It is only with an effort that the 
stranger remembers the tragedies it has seen, and the wounds 
from which it still suffers. On the surface all is gay, but 
in Liberty Square you will see the words at the head of 
this chapter laid out in flowers; and above them the national 
flag flies at half-mast, in mourning for the lost lands of 

Those lands may soon return, or some of them, for the 
German armies on the Danube claim to be liberators of 
oppressed minorities. For a thousand years Hungary main- 
tained her integrity under St. Stephen's Crown. But owing 
to the exhaustion of the Great War her resistance was 
weakened, allowing creatures such as Bela Kun and his 
confederates to thrive. On her sick-bed she was robbed 
of two-thirds of her people, lands, livestock, mineral wealth. 
When she recovered, impoverished and dismembered, she 



had been inoculated for generations to come against a 
virus which is still a peril to the rich democracies of the 

We can learn much from what happened in Hungary. 
If I recall the memory of her past miseries, it is because 
the first Communist conspiracy, after the Russian success, 
shows us so clearly how the Bolsheviks behave when in 
power. Chronologically this chapter should have followed 
that on Russia, but geographically its place is here, by the 
Balkans. If the reader turns to the chapter on Spain he will 
note the similarity of the methods of the Communists in 
Hungary and in Spain. 

The murder of Count Stephen Tisza, the veteran states- 
man who had opposed the entry of Hungary into the Great 
War (but who never, from motives of patriotism, revealed 
in public the advice he had given to the old Emperor 
Francis Joseph), opened the flood-gates of Bolshevism toward 
the West. 

Count Tisza was shot on October 31st, 1918, by soldiers 
said to belong to the Social Democratic Party of Hungary, 
under the direction of a young Jew, Joseph Pogany, who 
afterwards became a Minister under the Communist regime 
of Bela Kun. So the revolution in Budapest began: its tide 
reached Vienna, Munich, Berlin, and Rome before re- 
ceding; and advanced again, in 1934, ^^ Geneva, Paris, 
Madrid, and Prague. Full tide of Comintern activity was 
in July, 1938, at Prague, when "the nations in their 
harness" seemed to be gathering for a world war; it turned 
again at Munich, and was at its low after the fall of 
Barcelona. But the friends of Moscow have by no means 
lost hope; there are still infinite possibilities of trouble in 
Central Europe. 

Toward the end of 1918, when Hungary was full of 

NO! NO! NEVER! [221] 

prisoners-of-war released from Russia, spreading the then 
unknown evangel of Communism, Count Tisza, who had 
been living in retirement, came forward to collaborate 
with the weak Government of the day; for nothing mat- 
tered, he declared, but to preserve Hungary from internal 

Others thought differently. Count Michael Karolyi (pro- 
nounced Karoy), a tall and handsome aristocrat, with an 
artificial palate, believed that his mission was to lead the 
Hungarian people into new ways of life. His physical 
defect — he had learned to talk late in childhood — made 
him a poor speaker, but gave him an inordinate power- 

Surrounded by the amenities of his great position, well 
connected not only in his own line but by his marriage 
with the lovely Countess Andrassy, he was a famous cos- 
mopolitan figure in the artistic and fashionable circles of 
Vienna and Paris. His passion was politics, however; and, 
like many another gentleman, he felt in closer touch with 
the very poor, with peasants and factory workers, than with 
the middle classes whose careful lives were remote from 
his gay and spendthrift splendor. Politically and socially his 
greatest enemy was Count Tisza, who stood for thrift, tradi- 
tion, hierarchy. 

In the chaos of Hungary in 191 8, Count Karolyi saw 
an opportunity to make himself a Moses leading the 
masses to a promised land; not quite the promised land 
of Marx (for he was never a full Communist), but to a 
New Jerusalem whose bulwarks glowed with the promises 
of Moscow. We must give him credit for sincerity, for 
he distributed most of his property to the peasants on 
his large estates, but his ability is open to question. When 
he came to power he found that the Communists were 
not in the least grateful to him for the liberty he had 
accorded them in the name of democracy, and he realized 


— rather dimly — that they were bent on destroying not only 
free speech, but Hungary, and if possible Europe. It was 
too late then. When he gave Bela Kun the Government of 
Hungary, after six months of concessions and muddle, no- 
body regretted his departure. 

The immediate cause of his resignation was the drastic 
demands made by the Allied Powers on March 20th, 1919, 
for the surrender of Hungarian territory. 

"They want to take the sky above our heads, the ground 
under our feet," writes Countess Tormay in her memoirs.* 
"They want to take our ancient Hungarian towns, which 
we have not conquered by arms but which we have built 
with the sweat of our brow. They want to take the region 
of Sopron, where the giant of Hungarian music, Franz 
Liszt, was born; Czenk, where the builder of modern 
Hungarian culture, Count Stephen Szechenyi, sleeps his 
eternal sleep ; Pressburg, the ancient coronation town, whence 
the cry of Hungarian fidelity 'Moriamur pro rege nostro!' 
rang out over land and sea." 

Powerless to protest, yet too proud to yield, Count Karolyi 
made over the Government to Bela Kun and his followers, 
whose only Fatherland was the Proletariat. 

Aaron Cohen, alias Bela Kun, was the son of the notary 
of a village near Nagyvarad. In early youth he became 
the reporter of a small newspaper in that town, and was 
imprisoned for making a seditious speech. We find him 
later as secretary to a Workingmen's Institute in Kolozsvar, 
in which position he was accused of embezzling £go. His 
friends saved him from trial, but he had been guilty of 
malpractice, and lost his position. When war broke out he 
joined the colors as a noncommissioned officer. He is said 
to have fought well in the trenches, but he was soon taken 
prisoner by the Russians. 

Always a Socialist, he found himself in his spiritual 

* An Outlaw's Diary, by Cecile Tormay, 1927. 

NO! NO! NEVER! [223] 

home in the Russia of 19 17, and when he was liberated 
by the Revolution he made friends first with Kerensky 
and then with Lenin. The latter appointed him chief of 
a School of Propaganda in Moscow, and from there he 
directed also the process of bolshevizing the Hungarian 
soldiers still in Russia. In 191 8 he was sent back to Hungary 
to prepare for the coming world revolution. 

So well did he acquit himself that he soon became the 
virtual leader of an early Popular Front. For a time he 
suffered eclipse, for Count Karolyi had to imprison him 
(with many apologies, however) when he was discovered 
to be subverting the army. As soon as he was liberated, 
on March 21st, 1919, he issued two proclamations. The first 
was for internal consumption: "To-day we initiate the work 
of expropriating the robber-knight system of Capitalism." 
The other, for foreign readers, appealed to the Czech 
and Rumanian invaders to throw off the yoke of their 

The jails were immediately opened, and all prisoners 
liberated who had been guilty only of capitalist crimes 
against society, such as theft. Courts of law were suspended, 
and revolutionary tribunals were set up in their place, with 
power of life and death, which were frequently exercised 
after a trial in which the accused was allowed exactly one 
minute for his defense by the judge's watch. 

Private houses were declared to be the property of the 
State: no adult was allowed more than one room, and no 
family more than three: bourgeois householders had re- 
liable proletarians quartered on the premises. Banks were 
placed under Government control, and an embargo was 
laid on safe-deposits. More than ;r 1,000,000 in foreign 
specie was sent abroad, chiefly to Vienna, for the purposes 
of propaganda. Weapons were seized in private houses 
by persons who described themselves as authorized by the 
Soviet to search for them. Some of these searchers were 


children, others were criminals: women and children were 
maltreated, and not only weapons but anything else of value 
was taken. 

Soon a levy of hostages began, among whom were six 
former ministers, several Bishops, and many leading busi- 
ness men. "There is nothing to be obtained without blood," 
said Bela Vago, one of the chiefs of the Revolutionary 
Tribunal. "Without blood there is no terror, and without 
terror there is no Dictatorship." Bela Kun was of the same 
mind: "We must drown the counter-revolution in blood," 
he cried. 

In May, 1919, the Army was "democratized" (i.e., the 
officers were cashiered or shot, and agents of Moscow put 
in their place), while the teaching of patriotism was abol- 
ished from the schools. Religion was derided. The Press 
was not only free, but filthy: the following being one of 
the milder specimens of punctuation-less "proletarian 
poetry" : 

Europe fat slimy 

Whore with whisky eyes 

The sweat of perfume factories 

Christ pants between your breasts 

Sailors stroke your belly 

Freedom Equality Motherhood 

A host of priests spring from your thighs 

And crosses blossom in the shade of cows. 

The technique of terror followed by the Hungarian Soviet 
was similar to that of the Russian; on a smaller scale, but 
of similar intensity. It would have done more if it had had 
more time. Szamuelly, for instance, had plans for the sys- 
tematic extermination of recalcitrant peasants, on the lines 
which Stalin afterwards followed; and his instinct was not 
far wrong, for it was the passive resistance of the peasants 
(passive, because they had no weapons but pitchforks and 
fists), which was the real cause of the breakdown of 
Hungarian Communism. 

NO! NO! NEVER! [225] 

Some notes on the principal assistants of Bela Kun may be 
of interest: 

The Chief of the Political Investigation Department was 
a hunchback by the name of Otto Korvin, also known as 
Korvin-Klein. He was of a vindictive nature, and used 
to push a ruler down the throat of a stubborn witness, to 
make him talk. He had himself been a bourgeois, and in 
former days he had owned a little sawmill and timber depot 
in the north of Hungary, where he exploited and half- 
starved his employees.''^ 

Joseph Pogany, some-time Commissar of Education, was 
a mountebank of notorious incapacity and profligate life, 
who imagined himself to be the Napoleon of the move- 
ment, and was generally surrounded by prostitutes. He 
was despised even by his own associates; indeed, nobody 
took him seriously, except the victims of his robberies and 

Sigismond Kunfi was a man of different mettle: clever, 
bold, ambitious, and an inveterate turn-coat, he was first 
a Jew, then a Protestant, and finally a militant atheist. 
Originally he called himself a Social Democrat, but he 
never had any doubt about his hatred of society. "Your 
efforts on behalf of your workmen," he said, in an outburst 
of sincerity to an employer of Budapest, "are just what 
we don't want, for they frustrate the class-war. What we 
want is a discontented mass of laborers." Although he 
worked with Bela Kun throughout the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat, he turned on him savagely afterwards. The 
heralds of the new dawn bespattered each other freely 
with mud when they were exiles in Vienna: their writings 
are as embittered as is the correspondence of their aposde, 

Tibor Szamuelly was the child of a well-to-do family 

* Bolshevism in Hungary, by Baron Albert Kaas and Fedor de Lazarovics. 
Grant Richards, 1931. 


from Galicia. Like Kun, he began his career as a journalist 
in Nagyvarad, but in 1912 we find him working for a 
Conservative newspaper in Budapest. In the Great War he 
was quickly taken prisoner, and so met Kun, who intrusted 
him, by Lenin's wish, with the editorship of a Hungarian 
paper published in Moscow. Baron Kaas describes him as 
"haggard and of a corpse-like pallor, walking among his 
robust, thick-set terrorists."^ 

It was Szamuelly's special mission to terrorize the country- 
side. He traveled in a train painted a brilliant red, from 
whose windows victims were thrown when their execu- 
tioners had grown tired of baiting them. Peasants con- 
demned to death were compelled to dig their own graves 
and to jump off a table with a noose round their necks, 
in presence of their wives and families. If they hesitated, 
Szamuelly's men prodded them with bayonets. A woman 
who refused to reveal the details of a counter-revolutionary 
plot had her teeth dug out with a chisel; another had a 
nail hammered into her skull; and yet another had her 
tongue sewn to the end of her nose. 

In Szolnok, Szamuelly hung twenty-four people (in- 
cluding Paul Suranyi, the President of the Court of 
Chancery) without even the semblance of a trial, and shot 
dead a schoolboy, aged sixteen, whom he overheard saying 
that "these people are wild beasts, not men." 

Such were the persons who ruled Hungary for 133 days, 
from March 21st to August ist, 1919. Little has been written 
about them in the English language, although the world 
has heard much of the misdeeds of the other dictators — 
those who oppose Communism. 

m * * 

Soon it became clear that a crash was coming. Bela 
Kun transferred ;r5o,ooo to Basle. Throughout July a special 

* Bolshevism in Hungary. 

NO! NO! NEVER! [227] 

train stood ready to take him and his friends to the safety 
of bourgeois (although bolshevizing) Austria. 

Slowly but surely a Provisional Government of true 
Hungarians w^as constituted at Szeged. And slov^ly the 
Allied Powers came to realize that it was to Szeged, not 
to Budapest, that they would have to turn to find a Govern- 
ment representing the will of the people. But how remove 
Bela Kun? They did not want to attack him themselves, 
for Bolshevism was an infectious disease in those days, and 
the Rumanian army stood ready, even anxious, to do the 
job. It marched on Budapest, in spite of the protests of the 
Provisional Government at Szeged. 

On July 31st, Bela Kun issued a manifesto demanding 
the support of Workers of the World for Hungary; but 
next day there were tears in his eyes, and his words came 
with difficulty, when he spoke for the last time before his 
flight. "I should have liked the Proletariat to fight it out 
on the barricades, and to declare that it would sooner die 
than to give up power. I have asked myself: 'Shall we mount 
the barricades ourselves, with no masses at our back?' We 
would gladly sacrifice ourselves, but would such a sacrifice 
benefit the cause of the International Proletarian Revo- 

Without undue delay he decided against the barricades, 
and, as his suitcases were already packed, he took the wait- 
ing train to Vienna. So ended the second Communist con- 

# # # 

What happened when the Rumanian army arrived in 

* Bela Kun's subsequent history is obscure. After a period of internment in 
Austria, in a comfortable castle, he was liberated by his Social Democratic friends 
and returned to his masters in Moscow, who sent him to the Crimea. In 1936 
he went to Barcelona, but was a failure there, and was last heard of in a Russian 
lunatic asylum. 


Budapest, against the wishes of the Hungarians, need not 
be recounted here. Cities have been looted by disorderly 
soldiers before; and there are many things best passed over 
in silence if w^e v^ould have peace in Central Europe. 

The partition of Hungary v^^as the most flagrant of the 
injustices committed in Paris after the Great War. The 
Germans v^ere a pow^erful nation, then 67,000,000 strong, 
and a potential danger to mankind. The treatment they 
received at the hands of the victorious Powders v^as certainly 
unv^^ise, but their encirclement and humiliation v^as at least 
excusable on the grounds of fear. Hungary, on the other 
hand, wsls torn to pieces because she v^as small, to satisfy 
a band of greedy or ignorant intriguers. 

To-day the results of this policy are plain for all to see. 
"The v^^isdom of Providence," Gibbon tells us, "fre- 
quently condescends to use the passions of the human 
heart and the general circumstances of mankind as instru- 
ments to execute its purpose." It seems, now that we 
are wise after the event, as if France and England had 
planned to bring the Germans step by step to the Middle 

By the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary was deprived of 
two-thirds of her lands. Considering her as a shilling, 
Rumania received four pennyworth of territory, Czecho- 
slovakia three pennyworth, Yugoslavia a penny, and Austria 
a fraction, leaving the original Hungary with less than 
fourpence. Rumania received more Hungarian land 
(103,000 square kilometers) than was left to Hungary her- 
self (93,000 square kilometers). As regards population, 
Hungary, which had more than 18,000,000 inhabitants before 
the Great War, was left with 8,500,000, while Rumania 
grew to 18,000,000, and the new nations of Czecho-Slovakia 

NO! NO! NEVER! [229] 

and Yugoslavia appeared on the map of Europe, each widi 
about 14,000,000. 

This situation, of nations with no common bond of 
nationahty, could not long survive. The Little Entente 
v^as a military alliance, planned by Dr. Benes, of 40,000,000 
people, with an army of 5,000,000, against Hungary, with 
8,000,000 people and an army of 35,000, to prevent her 
from recovering her lost lands. That is the naked truth 
about the Little Entente: it was a military alliance by 
Czecho-Slovakia, Yugoslavia, and Rumania — all members 
of the League of Nations and signatories of the Kellogg 
Pact — to hold down another League member by force. It 
did not survive the Anschluss. German influence advanced 
down the Danube, on the whole with the warm approval 
of Hungary, though she was — and is — jealous of her sover- 

Hungary's claims to the borderlands contiguous to Czecho- 
slovakia, which are rich in timber, gold, and iron-ore, have 
been satisfied, and nearly 1,000,0000 Hungarians have re- 
turned to their native land. In Ruthenia, Hungarians arc 
only 30 per cent of the population, but Ruthenian trade 
has always been toward Budapest, and probably the majority 
of the population would prefer the Hungarians to any other 
masters, at any rate until the Ukrainian question comes again 
to the fore. 

Between Slovakia and Hungary the position is obscure. 
There is a Magyar Party in Bratislava, and undoubtedly 
if Father Tiso had not placed his country under the pro- 
tection of Germany the Hungarians would have invaded it. 
Now that it is under the wings of the Nazi eagle, we shall 
be spared further crises along this frontier at least. 

From Rumania the claims of Hungary are more diffi- 
cult to satisfy, for the 1,700,000 Hungarians in exile are 
not homogeneous, but scattered among Rumanians, Ger- 
mans, and other races; moreover, even the Hungarian census 


of 1910 gave the proportion of Hungarians in Transyl- 
vania as 34 per cent, Rumanians as 55 per cent, Germans 
as 9 per cent, and other races as 2 per cent. None the less, 
some measure of satisfaction or at least of security for 
the Hungarian minority must be obtained sooner or later, 
and v^hy not sooner, since delay v^ill solve nothing? The 
district betw^een Nagyvarad and Szatmar-Nemeti, for in- 
stance, contains 300,000 Magyars v^ho w^ant to return to 
Hungary; they cannot be a source of real strength to 

In Yugoslavia there are 500,000 Hungarians. On a pro- 
portional basis they w^ould be entitled to 9,000 of the 250,000 
posts in the public service of Yugoslavia; but there are, 
in fact, only 350 Hungarians so employed. Politically, the 
Hungarians are virtually disfranchised by the electoral law 
of September, 1931. Even in local affairs they are nov^here 
represented in proportion to their numbers. On the town 
of Okanizsa, for instance, where 94 per cent of the popula- 
tion is Hungarian, seventeen of the thirty-four members of 
the municipal Government are Slavs. As in Rumania, so 
in Yugoslavia, the majority of school inspectors speak no 

The treatment of minorities is a depressing subject, not 
only in Central Europe, but everywhere. They complain 
that they are not allowed to use their language, or teach 
it to their children (except in their homes) that their indus- 
tries are being ruined, that they are being expropriated 
from their lands by various unfair laws, and that the 
magistrates and police of the dominant power are oppres- 
sive. Unfortunately these complaints are often justijfied. 
Man's inhumanity to man is confined to no one climate 
or continent. Nevertheless, the dominant race often has 
reason on its side. If a nation is to be a workable proposi- 
tion there must be goodwill among its components. What 
are the rulers to do if a minority refuses to cooperate in 

NO! NO! NEVER! [231] 

the task of nation-building ? Give it more concessions ? The 
path of conciliation may lead to peace, but it may, on the 
other hand, encourage the extremists and lead to a demand 
for separation. Only in Switzerland have different peo- 
ples, speaking different languages and holding different 
branches of the Christian faith, settled dov^n together peace- 

Obviously not all the minorities of Central Europe can 
find satisfaction for all their demands, for many of them 
are mutually irreconcilable. Some minorities must ac- 
commodate themselves, by reason of their geographical 
position, to living under foreign rule. The question is, 
Which? In an ideal Europe, ought the Bulgarians to 
have the Dobrouja, the Greeks Cyprus, the Italians 
Malta, the Spaniards Gibraltar, the Germans Danzig 
and South Tyrol? When Herr Hitler traveled south- 
v^ards to visit Signor Mussolini in May, 1938, the 
villages of South Tyrol on his route greeted him v^ith 
cheers and flags. When he traveled back, having given 
his pledge to the Italians that this frontier should be for- 
ever inviolable, the Tyrol v^as silent and empty; not a 
man nor a decoration w^as to be seen. I was told by a 
member of the Fiihrer's staff that Herr Hitler stood long 
at the window of his train, but his thoughts he kept to 

Prophecy is particularly rash with regard to Hungary, 
because she is determined to recover her territory, and 
will adopt a purely opportunist policy in this regard. We 
cannot blame her. We have never lifted a finger to remedy 
the injustices of the Treaty of Trianon. 

Major Frank Szalasi, the pro-German leader of the 
Hungarian National Socialists, is in prison, serving a three- 
year sentence. Many Hungarians think that he is a martyr, 
and some — a diminishing number — that he is a dangerous 
fanatic. Inevitably the Hungarians will be influenced by 


Germany, but this picturesque and chivalrous people, with 
its tolerance,^ Tokay, and tziganes, will certainly try to 
resist any attempt to make her goose-step to the drums of 
the Prussians. 

But will she succeed? Can she keep her independence 
when she has no air force and no army to compare in num- 
bers with that of Germany? Even twenty years ago a brave 
people could resist great odds, but what can a country do 
nowadays against the shattering power of superior arma- 
ments ? We shall see. Sooner or later men will find an answer 
to any machine; but to-day and to-morrow we cannot hope 
for any help from Hungary. 

* During the Great War the English trainers of racehorses in the suburbs of 
Budapest remained unmolested looking after their charges; and a picture of King 
Edward VII, with cigar and bowler hat atilt, remained in its place of honor 
over the fireplace in the coffee-room of the Royal Hungarian Jockey Club. 

-^^-^^-^^ • ») • ») ■ >» • ») ^>^>$^^'^4$f>^^< 


The Balkans To-day 


.iR lines all over Europe treat their passengers like 
sheep. One is herded here and there and given far less 
initiative than a bell-v^ether. One is v^eighed. One's bag- 
gage is v^eighed. So far, so good, but then one is deprived 
of one's ticket, one's passport, one's baggage (and generally 
of one's camera, v^hich travels to its destination in a sealed 
bag), and left metaphorically in the air, but actually 
kicking one's heels in a v/aiting-room, feeling naked and 

One is irritated, I think legitimately. I can understand 
the camera being suspect in these anxious days; but for the 
baggage I should like a receipt. (It contains an ancient 
tail-coat, in case a pontiff or a prince commands me to his 
court.) My ticket I paid for in hardly v^on sterling; and 
as to the passport, it used to be a precious document 
until closed economic systems made it a scribbling-block 
for cashiers of registered marks, tourist lire, dinars, leks, 
leis, pengoes, and all the other coinages of a distracted 

Flying has made it possible to be in Amsterdam in 
the morning and in Athens in the evening, or to breakfast 
in Rome (as we are doing) and lunch in Tirana; but every 
advantage that the individual gains in speed is at the 
price of liberty. A tramp is free to choose his times and 
roads, but camel caravans, trains, cars, airplanes, entail 
progressive complications and submissions. The quicker 
we go, the less we are our own masters: a chastening 



For a moment my vanished suitcases gladden my eyes, 
then they disappear into the belly of a beautiful new white 
four-engine Savoia-Marchetti 'plane. We're off! Swooping 
over a loop of the tawny Tiber at two hundred miles an 
hour, we soar up, and up, and up, to twelve thousand feet, 
to give us clearance of the Apennines. There is nothing to 
see up here above the flocked white clouds, and I dislike 
that leaden feeling in my ears which affects me at certain 
stages between Heaven and Charing Cross; but the ensem- 
ble is grand: the lovely shape of a modern air liner, the 
drone of the great engines, the settling down in the saloon 
with a glance at the passengers, and the fleeting thought 
that one of them may be a lunatic with a bomb in his 
pocket, the taxiing down to the lee side of the airdrome, 
and the never-failing surprising feeling of lightness as 
the engines open out; then trim fields and small people 
below, intent on earthly affairs, while here we are moving 
with godlike speed to a new country. . . . It's fun, and 
one forgets to trouble deaf Heaven with one's bootless 
cries. . . . 

At Brindisi we take coffee, pass the Customs, fly across 
the glittering Adriatic to Albania. It is only forty minutes 
by air from Brindisi to Tirana, but during them we have 
passed to a different world and age. 

The first thing I saw in Tirana, that now unhappy little 
capital, was the smallest donkey I have ever seen, bestrid- 
den by a grand old gentleman in rags. He was poor, but 
happy and carefree, singing of a long-dead hero, and 
smelling a rose. 

The rose is typical of Albania: everyone loves flowers, 
and gardens would be as popular as they are in England if 
the people had time to cultivate them. But they haven't. 
The struggle for existence is hard in Albania. 


Under Italy, Albanians may find more employment, but 
I do not think they will be happy. They are a proud peo- 
ple, and I mourn their subjection. We English have broken 
proud peoples — the Sikhs, for instance, and the Zulus — so 
that we cannot complain too much of the Italian action, 
especially as it seems to have been carried out with con- 

Nevertheless I do complain, just as I complain of my 
own country when it invades the uplands of Tirah, where 
a decent folk live who want to be free. Albania is a 
pawn, swept off the chessboard in a ruthless game of 
power-politics. One day she will claim again the nation- 
hood which she has so long maintained against a world 
of foes. 

As I stood in the market square of Tirana, amid mag- 
nificent mountaineers, wearing their strange black jackets 
called xhoq^ with pom-poms on the shoulders, in mourning 
for Skander Beg, and gazelle-eyed women, sturdy children, 
sugar-canes, watermelons, boots, embroideries, bread, ciga- 
rette-holders with fat amber tips, chairs, tables, buckets, 
observing the splendid aspect of the people, their fine phy- 
sique, their calm and dignified manners, and the excellent 
shapes and patterns of their native crafts, I thought that I 
would rather live here than amid the hurry of London or 
the tumults of Rome. 

So I thought, not only then, but often. The Sons of the 
Eagle, as the Albanians call themselves, are a gallant and 
romantic race, perhaps the most romantic left in Europe. 
They claim half a dozen Turkish Sultans and scores of 
Grand Viziers among their ancestry, as well as their na- 
tional hero, Skander Beg (1443-1468), who was called the 
"Sword and Shield of Christendom" and appointed by 
Pius II as Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of Europe 
against the Turks. 

Poking about in side streets, I came upon the garden 


of some Bektashi dervishes. A gray-beard o£ the Order 
asked me to enter and showed me the room of their rites. 
A picture of King Zog hung in the place of honor, over 
the dervish throne. A grandfather clock ticked away in 
a corner. Sheepskin rugs were rolled up along the divans. 
I saw swords, and turbans, and a pile of skewer-like instru- 
ments whose use is familiar to me, for I have seen them 
driven through the cheeks and thrust through the fore- 
arms of dervishes Rwe thousand miles away. Strange how 
little we know of these mystics of Islam, spreading 
throughout the Mediterranean seaboard from Tangier to 
Tunis, and up the Adriatic, and down to Turkey (where 
they meet in the secrecy of Early Christians, and, like 
them, are a leaven working among the godless), through 
Persia, the Moslem Soviet Republics, Afghanistan, and 
India. It is a far cry from Tirana to Hyderabad, but in 
both cities, by the full of the moon, the beat of tom-toms 
calls men to the ecstasies of the Sufi Allah. If there is 
now to be a war in Europe, the world will hear more of 
the Dervish Orders, for they are connected with a powerful 
subterranean pan-Islamic movement. 

Not that the dervishes are oppressed in Albania, where 
there is a blessed toleration for all religions. In the Sadiye 
Normal School for Girls, with its 625 pupils, I was told 
that during Bairam the Christian boarders help the Mos- 
lems to make their beds, wait at table, and do other routine 
housework, so that the latter may attend their religious 
festivals, and similarly at Easter the Moslems help the 

A motto in this school, taken from a speech of King 
Zog's, struck me as pleasantly different from the usual 
slogans of dictatorships: "The people who have the best 

* Albania's population consists of a million souls, of M^hom 70 per cent belong 
to Islam, 20 per cent to the Orthodox, and 10 per cent to the Roman Catholic 


schools in the world will be the leaders of the world: if 
not to-day, then to-morrow." The headmistress showed me 
the gymnasium, recently opened by one of the King's 
sisters: it was equal to anything of the kind to be seen 
anywhere in Europe, and I have become something of an 
expert in girls' schools since I began this book. 

The thirst for knowledge in Albania would be remark- 
able if it were not common throughout the old pashalihj 
of the Turkish Empire. Everyone in the Balkans is eager 
to learn English. The Herbert Library in Tirana was al- 
ways full of readers, as was the Public Library. 

Until the independence of Albania was proclaimed in 
1920, there were no national schools; in 1936 there were 
590 primary schools in the country, with 50,000 pupils, and 
7 boarding schools for young children in the mountain 
regions, with 450 boarders. Of secondary schools and lycees 
for boys there are 4, with a total of 2,172 pupils. 

Now, under the new administration, Albania will no 
doubt be much more thoroughly educated and modern- 
ized. The blood-feud and the besa (an inviolable oath of 
peace) will lapse from living memory. What is a word of 
honor worth in Europe to-day? Albania is medieval: she 
must learn our ways. . . . And what of King Zog? Al- 
though he was not often seen in person (the rarity of his 
public appearance caused some comment), he was a cau- 
tious and clever ruler, hes absents ont toujours tort, but one 
day he may come back. 

Ahmed Zogu was born in the village of Burgayeti, be- 
yond Kruja, in the mountains of Mati, on October 8th, 
1895, of the royal line of Skander Beg. When ten years old 
he was sent to Constantinople, where Abdul Hamid, the 
Red Sultan, took a fancy to him. In the summer of 1912, 
when he was rising seventeen, he returned in haste to Al- 
bania, for rumors of the Balkan War were rife in Turkey, 
and the ambitious young man wanted to be in at the death 


of the Empire and the resurgence of his native land. The 
Serbs invaded Albania. Zog went to Scutari with a band of 
his Mati stalwarts and tried to defend the town from the 
Serbs, losing 200 men in the attempt. Unsuccessful, he re- 
tired to Burgayeti, watching events. 

When the Serbs were finally defeated by the Austro- 
Hungarians, in 1916, Zog opened negotiations with the 
victors. They invited him to Vienna, but kept him there, as 
a hostage, until the collapse of the Central Powers. 

No sooner was the war over than Zog hastened again 
to Scutari with some hastily raised levies, and held that 
city as its Governor throughout the miseries and muddles 
of the years during which the Allied Powers disputed the 
apportionment of the spoils of victory in Paris. 

On January 28th, 1920, Albania declared her independ- 
ence for the second time. She had realized (and none too 
soon, for Italy and Greece had come to an agreement to 
partition the country) that to rely on the justice of the 
Great Powers was to lean on a broken reed. Zog became 
the Minister of the Interior in the new Albanian Govern- 
ment, then Commander-in-Chief, and in 1922 President of 
the Council. In June, 1924, however, a rebellion broke out 
led by Monsignor Fan Noli; and Zog had to escape to 

Fan Noli proceeded to make an unholy mess of things 
in Tirana and in Geneva, where he told assembled pundits, 
in the days of their power and glory: "In reviewing the 
work which has been accomplished by the League of Na- 
tions during its five years of active life, I am afraid that 
even the most exalted pacifist will throw up his hands in 
despair and exclaim: 'Let us rather have war than such 
tedious talk about peace!' What has been done in the past 
five years lies in peace — in eternal peace — locked tightly in 
the dead files of the Secretariat." 

Doubtless this was true, but it was hardly tactful. Fan 


Noli antagonized not only the wise men of Geneva, but the 
Albanian chieftains, who were far more important, and he 
failed to placate the Albanian peasantry. In December, 1924, 
serious disturbances broke out in the north. Zog was com- 
ing to claim his country. 

Fan Noli telegraphed to the League for protection. He 
received none: not even the encouragement accorded in 
similar circumstances to Abyssinia and China. On De- 
cember 23rd his Cabinet left for Valona, where they de- 
clared that they would continue to fight to the last drop 
of their blood; but on Christmas Day they embarked for 

King Zog might have persecuted his enemies. He did 
not. He pacified them, and tried to cut his coat according 
to his cloth in the matter of reforms. Unfortunately he did 
not succeed. Pressure from Italy was too strong. He bor- 
rowed from her — how much is unknown — and he became 
involved in a network of intrigue which brought him to 
his ruin. 

By the "conquest" of Albania, Italy has outflanked Yugo- 
slavia, and has also threatened Greece. But she has a turbu- 
lent, hostile population to control, and difficult, moun- 
tainous frontiers to defend. Armies which advance upon 
alien soil must eventually retreat. After Albania, what? 
Much Italian blood may be spilt upon this thirsty earth. 
The country is small, but not easily accessible to bombers. 
Communications are so primitive that blockade of hostile 
areas will be difficult. In the mountains of Mati the Al- 
banians will not yield allegiance to Rome, whatever they 
may do in Tirana; and the Italians will find it necessary 
to keep a large force of occupation permanently in the 

When one sees Kruja, with its old castle of Skander 
Beg, which so long resisted the might of Islam, one can 
penetrate, I think, a little into the mind of the King and 


his people. Of all the places I have seen, across fifty years 
of life and a hundred thousand miles of travels, none sym- 
bolizes more strikingly man's eternal struggle for freedom. 
When I saw it, little Albanian boys were drilling there, in 
the market-place, against the time w^hen their country 
might again be threatened. 

I climbed above Kruja, to a dervish shrine, where there 
is a tunnel, through which tradition relates that a holy 
man escaped to Corfu (I forget why). The air was clear, 
revealing the roof-tops of Durazzo and the sapphire waters 
of the Adriatic. Between the mountain-top and the castle 
an eagle soared, searching the barren ground below us. An 
old shepherd arrived, and asked me to take a cup of coffee. 
I refused, for I had no time, but I v^as told afterwards that 
I had sinned by Albanian standards, for they are the most 
hospitable people on earth. 

On the mountainside grew orchids, sturge, thyme, 
saxifrage, starch-hyacinths, and borage. Albania is a 
beautiful country; small wonder that her people are 
passionately patriotic. I know well, from having been an 
"under-dog" in Turkey, that the Balkans are not as lovely 
as they seem to be to the comfortable traveler, being full 
of fevers, and fleas, and extortionate minor officials; 
nevertheless they have kept — strange paradox — something 
of a poise and a sanity which we are losing in Europe. 
When one comes to these mountains, or to the high 
plateau of Spain, where also an unspoiled people live, one 
realizes all that we have sacrificed in our scramble for 

What is this life, if, full of care. 

We have no time to stand and stare? 

They have time. They have something which we must 
recover, if we are to save our souls alive. 

* * * 


Everyone grows lyrical about Ragusa (Dubrovnik), with 
its fat pigeons and peaceful narrow streets. It is a honey- 
moon place, like Budapest, Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, 
Athens. ... In a church in Dubrovnik I saw a modern 
picture of the Virgin, with the following hnes of well-cut 
simplicity written beneath in a childish hand: 

Ave Maria, 
Sei dolce e pia: 
Vergine eletta 
Fosti concetta 
Senza peccato: 
Ti fe il Create 
Vergine santa 
Felice pianta: 
Deste al mondo 
Frutto giocondo. . . . 

Regretfully I left the Adriatic, taking the narrow-gauge 
railway for Serajevo. There are no sleeping cars or 
restaurant cars on this line, but I was comfortable, eat- 
ing cheese and a head of lettuce, washed down with red 

Why do we needlessly complicate life? I am a sinner 
in this respect myself, and tend v/ith advancing years to 
take undue thought about my food, but even from the 
standpoint of greed, what is more delicious than a crisp 
salad, a mild country cheese, and Dalmatian wine? One 
can taste the basic excellence of these things perfectly, 
and enjoy their flavors, whereas no man can fully appre- 
ciate all die tastes and sauces of a grand dinner, even if 
the original ingredients are good, which they rarely are in 

One should feel hungry twice a day, but almost every- 
body who can afford to do so eats too much; and sleeps 
too much, on soft beds. But now I was very tired, and 
nodded off in the wheezy little train, in my clothes, and 
awoke at four in the morning thoroughly refreshed. 


Glorious day was coming. As we wound our slow way 
up a mountain pass, the still-hidden sun, also mounting, 
struck a snow-peak suddenly, turning it in a flash from 
pearl to crimson. Above the snow rode a full moon. 
With a whistle we entered a tunnel; and that dawn had 
joined all those others that since the beginning of this old 
world have "flattered the mountain-tops with sovereign 

At the station in Serajevo I met a veiled lady (nowhere 
else in Europe but in the Moslem districts of Yugoslavia 
do you see the Turks as they were, before Ataturk un- 
veiled the women and debagged the men) — a veiled lady 
in a tailor-made coat and skirt, with smart English-looking 
shoes, followed by two fair-haired little boys, carrying 
buckets and spades. Her veil was so thin that it was an 
ornament rather than a concealment. She opened her hand- 
bag to tip the taxi-driver: there was lipstick there. Over her 
shoulder were slung a Leica camera and a Thermos flask. 
She was bound for a seaside holiday. Strange mingling of 
East and West! Would she, I wondered, come out of her 
purdah on some Adriatic beach, and sip aperitifs in a back- 
less bathing dress? 

In the Hotel d'Europe I found fresh crisp rolls (how 
rarely cooks trouble about such things) and coffee with 
whipped cream. On the stairs of this excellent hotel there 
is a notice requesting guests not to spit, but there is a spit- 
toon on every landing. 

At the risk of cloying these pages with superlatives, I 
must say that Serajevo is enchanting and unique. A hun- 
dred mosques, with their graceful domes and minarets, are 
scattered in the green cup of its mountains: it preserves the 
dignity of more spacious times not only in its architecture, 
but in its people. In form and feature the Bosnian is a 
splendid type of humanity. 


A veiled woman entered a mosque which I was visiting, 
and spoke to me in gentle and fluent German. She was 
selling lace caps and embroideries. I bought some at 
random, observing her delicate hands, with a tiny spot of 
henna at each finger-tip. The veil may have been a lure 
for tourists; but, like most cynical thoughts, this one is 
probably wrong. After all, tourists do not swarm to 
Serajevo. She is perhaps a widow, too proud to live on 
her relations, and supporting herself by her needle. She 
has the hands of an artist, and we parted with profound 
salaams. Often I wonder whether Fate is being kind to 
her. . . . 

At the corner of the street where the Archduke Franz 
Ferdinand and his wife received their mortal wounds a 
tablet has been placed in the wall: 

On this historic spot 
Gabriel Princep 
announced liberty 
on the day of Vedov 

15 (28) June 1914. 

Opposite, where a bridge leads across the Miljacka River, 
the Austrians had erected on one side a statue of the 
Virgin, and on the other a bust of the Archduke, Both 
have been removed. 

Princep and eleven of his companions of the Black 
Hand lie in a cemetery in the suburbs. Princep's grave 
is raised higher than the others, for he is the "hero" who 
started the World War. People come to burn candles at 
his shrine, and it has been a place of pilgrimage for fifteen 

The making of Yugoslavia entailed the destruction of 
two Empires and untold suffering for untold innocents. 
But to the Serbs, as also to the Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, 
Latvians, and Finns, the Great War gave back their native 


lands. In 1914 all Serb idealists and intellectuals were revo- 
lutionaries. They believed in v^ar as an instrument of 
policy. So do most of the peoples of this part of Europe, 
who know that they could never have won their freedom 
without it.^ 

A hideously unnecessary number of people died in the 
Great War, because the same result might have been 
achieved — apparently — with far less suffering. But that is 
true of almost everything which man accomplishes. There 
is always a simpler way, but mankind rarely finds it. All 
over Europe this tragic fact is written in the names of 
brave men dead. 

I talked of this to a young friend in Belgrade, while 
walking in the Kalemegdan — surely the finest park in 
Europe — on the bluff overlooking the junction of the Save 
and Danube. He was a quarter Croat, a quarter Albanian, 
and wholly Slav in temperament, so that his imagination 
took the wings of literature and philosophy instead of 
being tied to the earth of local politics. I was grateful for 
this relief. His views on Dr. Stoyadinovitch were cautiously 
expressed, but he told me that he admired Mr. Gandhi, 
and that the people of the Balkans felt themselves to be 
more Asiatic than European. He said also: "Tides of con- 
querors pass, but the women of a country remain." I have 
heard the same observation in India more than once, and it 
is a truth that conquerors rarely remember. 

Most Serbs look on Western European civilization as the 
Yogis do at Rishikesh, with a tolerant disdain. They see its 
good side, but they consider that on the whole its disad- 
vantages outweigh its virtues. 

The Turks used to call the Kalemegdan the Fify Bair, 
or Mount of Meditation. As we walked through its gar- 
dens that evening it resounded with the tinny voice of 

* See Appendix V. 


loud-speakers. I was shocked that an artistic people, not 
yet mechanized to the brink of insanity,, should desecrate 
the twilight with jazz, but I was wrong. The broadcast 
stopped five minutes before sunset, and silence fell upon 
the crowd. 

Other races, who shall be nameless, might have made a 
restaurant here, where they could cackle and drink; but 
these Serbs stood silent, some alone, some with friends or 
lovers, at the edge of the bluff where the rivers meet, 
watching a red sun setting over the lowlands of Zemun, 
whence the Germans had invaded their country in the 
winter of 1915-16. 

To-day there are stormy seas to navigate before Yugo- 
slavia can be brought to a safe anchorage. The Pact with 
Italy and the Treaty of Friendship with Bulgaria were 
good moves; and one can be thankful that the Govern- 
ment is continuing the late King Alexander's policy of 
opposing Bolshevist and Grand Orient influence. Commu- 
nism is unpopular in Yugoslavia, for 78 per cent of the 
population are agriculturists, with no taste for collectiviza- 
tion of farms or the liquidation of \ula\s. On the other 
hand. King Alexander's centralization of power is not 
working well, owing to the various minorities who desire 
independence. The Croats, after 100 years of Austrian rule, 
are far better educated and — to be frank — more civilized 
than the Serbs. In Zagreb one hears talk of "those brigands 
in Belgrade," and anyone who knows anything of the his- 
tory of this part of the world must admit that even a 
stronger term could be applied to the activities of the 
Black Hand. 

These 4,000,000 Croats, with 103 deputies in the 
Skupsktina, cannot be considered a minority: they de- 
mand autonomy as a right, and are likely to get it. Dr. 
Matchek, their leader, has lately made ominous references 


to the growing power of Germany. The Croats do not 
love the Germans, but they are becoming exasperated 
with the Serbs. It is a situation full of explosive possibili- 
ties. Then there are the Slovenes, and the Bosnians, who 
are claimants for greater freedom, and the Magyars — 
468,000 of them — who demand to return to their native 

Prince Paul has done much to make the minorities in 
his country feel that the Serbs are aiming at cooperation, 
not dominion, but he has a difficult row to hoe. How much 
freedom is it possible to give them while preserving the 
integrity of the Yugoslav State? I devoutly hope that my 
country will not become unduly involved in these com- 
plicated racial disputes, which probably only the passage of 
time can solve. 

"Much depends on England," my young friend said. It is 
a remark the traveler hears constantly in Central and 
Southeastern Europe; but it means little except politeness 
on the part of the speaker, and a desire to see how he will 
react against Germany. 

To-day Germany is somewhat in the position we were in 
after Waterloo, the most feared and the least liked nation 
on the Continent, but whereas after Waterloo we were 
trusted, nobody trusts the Germans. There is a streak of 
stiff incomprehension about them which makes them intol- 
erable as rulers of any nation but their own. 

King Boris, who honored me with an audience in Sofia, 
confirmed me in my belief that England has still a role 
to play in the Balkans. I cannot, for obvious reasons, 
quote his words, but it is legitimate to record that he 
spoke with great feeling against any coming conflict in 
Southeastern Europe. The King has himself served in 


both Balkan Wars and in the Great War: he has no 
desire to see his country dragged into another at the tail 
of a Great Power. The common denominator of the 
policy of all the Balkan countries (except perhaps Hun- 
gary, with her burning sense of injustice) is the desire for 

Certainly there are rectifications of frontiers urgently 
desired by Bulgaria. The fertile coastal region of the 
Dobrouja, taken from her by Rumania after the Second 
Balkan War, where 500,000 Bulgarians live, is a claim 
whose justice it is impossible to deny. As to the port of 
Dedeagatch, held by Greece, its possession would give 
Bulgaria an outlet on the JEgcan, and would be invalu- 
able to her trade. But we (France and Great Britain) 
cannot possibly aflford to offend Rumania or Greece, and 
it will be therefore difficult to satisfy Bulgaria, who is now 
linked by ties of friendship with her sister Slavs in Yugo- 
slavia. And Yugoslavia, being a next-door neighbor to 
both Germany and Italy, cannot afford to offend the Axis 

Bulgaria's position is difficult, but she has several great 
advantages. The first is her clever and charming King, a 
dictator, but a dictator mcdgre lui^ who walks freely among 
his subjects, and drives railway engines as his hobby. He 
speaks eight languages fluently, and has an immense 
knowledge of European affairs. Never, if he can help it, 
will he plunge his country into the misery of another war. 
But he is an able negotiator. One day we may have great 
need of Bulgaria's help, and King Boris has a loyal army 
and a united country behind him. 

Is it impossible to settle any frontiers except under 
threat of war? I am an optimist. Obstinately I cling to 
the hope that one day we shall have an understanding 
with Germany, and a conference (ominous word!) at 


which a resettlement of the Balkans shall be arranged 
along the lines of race, language, and the desire of the 
inhabitants, rather than according to strategic frontiers. 

Such a settlement would involve surrender of territory 
on the part of Yugoslavia and Rumania in favor of 
Hungary, and also the cession of the Dobrouja to Bul- 
garia. Dedeagatch might become an open port, with 
special rights guaranteed to Bulgaria. Is any country 
really strengthened by the inclusion within its borders of 
people longing to throw off an alien yoke? Surely not! 
And surely it is not impossible, given goodwill, for the 
wit of man to devise a plan which would reduce the 
minorities of Southeastern Europe to manageable pro- 
portions ? 

Given goodwill. We can decide nothing in the Balkans 
without the cooperation of the Axis, either now, if it is wise 
enough to recognize our immense latent strength, or later, 
if we must put the matters in dispute to the test of war. 

In the Bulgarian Parliament (the Sobraniye) there is 
complete freedom of speech, and the public galleries are 
always crowded. In the Bulgarian Press, on the contrary, 
there is a strict censorship, so nothing disturbing is ever 
reported. The system works well: the politicians blow off 
steam, and the caravan passes on. . . . The Government 
party are described by the wits of the capital as 93 sheep 
without a shepherd, and the Opposition, which consists 
chiefly of ex-leaders, as 67 shepherds without sheep. There 
are 8 Communists, but only 2 of them are allowed to sit 
in the Sobraniye: the other 6 refused to kiss the Cross 
when taking their oaths, and were consequently excluded, 
after a tumultuous sitting. There are also 11 Fascists, 
led by a striking personality. Professor Tsankov, a tall 
man with a goatee and bald Brahminical head. I saw 
him enter the Cafe Bulgarie one evening: he was accom- 


panied by a detective and a police dog, and I observed 
that he took a seat v^ith his back to the w^all. When 
he w^as Prime Minister, in 1923, he crushed the Mace- 
donian terrorists, and again, in 1925, he suppressed with 
great severity the Communist conspiracy which led to a 
horrible outrage in Sofia Cathedral. He is a personal enemy 
of M. Gregori Dimitrov, the (Bulgarian) Secretary-General 
of the Comintern, and is also said to be "wanted" by the 
Grand Orient. . . . No wonder he sits with his back to the 

The Bulgarians appear to be a gentle people. They live 
mainly on milk and vegetables (there are fourteen vege- 
tarian restaurants in Sofia), and they are famous for their 
strength and long life. One would imagine that they had 
had enough of fighting, from 1908 to 1918, but appear- 
ances are deceptive. A week after my visit the Chief of 
Staff of the Bulgarian Army was shot dead outside the 
Sobraniye. Fingers are quick on the trigger everywhere in 
the Balkans.^ 

tF flP ^F 

In Rumania, also, with her 1,700,000 Magyars and Ger- 
mans in Transylvania, her 900,000 frightened Jews, her 
500,000 Bulgarians, and her 500,000 still-obstreperous pro- 
German Iron Guard, dangerous passions exist below an 
apparently contented surface. I found the following notice 
by my bedside in the Splendid Park Hotel :t 

In accordance with the Law for Maintaining Public Order we 
would call the attention of guests to the necessity of avoiding political 
meetings or discussions in the hotel. In the event of non-observance 

* When I was in the Skupshtina in Belgrade I was told: "Things have been 
quiet lately. It is three years since anyone shot at the Prime Minister." On that 
occasion the would-be assassin missed his mark; but in 1928, Stephan Raditch, 
leader of the Croat Opposition, was not so fortunate, for he was murdered during 
a sitting of Parliament. 

t Which is neither splendid, nor a park, but a decent modern hotel. 


of this rule, we shall be obliged to request the guest, or guests, to give 
up their accommodation immediately. 

Of course nobody obeyed this injunction. A member 
of the Iron Guard sat with me far into the night, drink- 
ing plum brandy and shouting so loud that I had to close 
the shutters. I thought the dictatorship of King Carol 
was comparatively mild, but I have been reluctantly com- 
pelled to revise my opinion since the shooting of the im- 
prisoned M. Codreanu and his followers, "while attempt- 
ing to escape." At the same time we are not entitled to 
criticize King Carol hastily. There is no death penalty in 
Rumania, and in existing conditions it may have been 
necessary to remove Codreanu for the sake of the safety of 
the country. 

In 1937 two members of the Iron Guard, who had been 
killed fighting for General Franco, were brought back to 
Bucharest and given a public funeral. The whole capital 
turned out to see the procession, and it is said that King 
Carol, a la Haroun-al-Raschid, mingled in disguise 
among his people. What he saw convinced him that 
Codreanu was becoming much too popular, and that if 
there was any dictating to be done he had best do it 

In this decision he was probably right. I believe Codreanu 
to have been an honest man. His followers consider that 
he was a Christian saint, and that he has been done to 
death by a Jewish clique round the King; but if he was 
a saint he had peculiar ideas about the commandment 
"Thou shalt not kill," and his anti-Semitism would cer- 
tainly have mobilized all the democracies of Europe against 
him. Under the circumstances King Carol is a much better 
dictator. He is playing a risky game, of course, but he 
enjoys it. He is a good speaker, and has the hereditary 
Coburg talent for administration. A publishing house and 


a wine business are both directed by him, and both are 
making a profit. The army is well equipped. PubHc life is 
being cautiously but genuinely purified. The Orthodox 
Church is behind him. Education has been put on a prac- 
tical and largely technical basis. Sanitation is making great 
strides. A spirit of enterprise and reconstruction is evident 
in Rumania, and youth is being enlisted in the service of 

I sav7 a parade of five thousand Boy Scouts and Girl 
Guides. Prince Mihai, the Heir-Apparent, v^as among the 
former: he is a fine upstanding lad, adored by all Ru- 
manians, v^ho is being democratically educated v^ith a 
group of boys chosen from all classes and from all parts of 
the country. If anything v^ere to happen to King Carol, he 
w^ould preserve the stability of the throne. 

The Youth Parade v^hich I w^itnessed, opened v^ith the 
five thousand children kneeling and singing the Lord's 
Prayer on their knees, led by deep-voiced, hirsute young 
deacons of the Orthodox Church: Tatal nostru carele esti 
in ceruri. It was magnificent. I hope that there were 
Germans and Italians present to see the beauty of the 
scene. The priests in Rumania are mostly fine-looking men, 
handsomer and more athletic than the clergy of other 

^ ^ * 

In Athens I had the privilege of an audience with King 
George II of Greece, and I spent some time with General 
Metaxas, through whom the dictatorship in Greece is ad- 
ministered. Like King Boris, King George and his General 
are dictators only from a sense of duty; and it would be 
laughable, if it were not tragic, to read in our Left- Wing 
Press the accusation that they have set themselves up as 
tyrants. Only those blinded by prejudice can represent the 


King and General Metaxas as anything but hard-working 
servants of the pubHc, discharging a dangerous and rather 
thankless task. 

Communism was a serious threat to Greece in 1936. The 
trouble had been brewing for a long time, for the Comin- 
tern wanted to have a foothold at this end of the Mediter- 
ranean as well as in Spain, and had financed revolution 
liberally. We need not again enter into the old story of 
how a "revolutionary situation" is produced: strikes and 
riots had made orderly government impossible. The result 
of the elections of January, 1936 (for once fairly held), was 
a balance of power between the majority parties, in which 
fifteen Communists held the casting votes. After another 
seven months of confusion. King George dissolved Parlia- 
ment, in August, 1936, with the universal consent of all 
parties except the Communists, and appointed General 
Metaxas to clear up the mess. Within a year this country- 
man of Ulysses had swept the Augean stable of political 
jobbery and incompetence. 

Everyone except the professional politicians, and a few 
political journalists, rejoiced in the decisive measures taken 
by the new Government. To-day eighteen deputies are 
under detention, living on islands which would be con- 
sidered paradises by a less fortunate people than the Greeks. 
The Metaxas Government made far fewer arrests than 
had been made in previous revolutions, and nobody was 

In the land which invented democracy it would be too 
much to say that the dictatorship is universally popular. 
But even those who are against it in theory will admit 
that in practice, under present conditions, it is a necessary 
evil. "I was a Veniselist," said an acquaintance, "and I 
hate the present censorship. I detest the idea that I may 
not say what I like to my friends, sitting in the cafe of 
an evening. But I must admit that things are better in 


Greece than they have ever been in my Ufetime." He 
added that he hoped that Greece v^^ould one day open her 
ParHament again, because poHtics saved one from the 
boredom of day-to-day life. But the majority of Greeks 
are not of my friend's opinion. Veniselos was far more 
ruthless than Metaxas. Most Greeks v^ould agree v^ith 
Mussolini (if they did not detest him, as they do) that 
"democracy is a kingless regime infested by many 

"We shall never go back to the parliamentary system," 
General Metaxas told me. He is a sturdy, broad- 
shouldered man of sixty-seven, with a quiet, convincing 
manner. "A system like that of Portugal may be the 
best for us, but it is too soon to say. We have only been 
two years in office, and we are too busy correcting the 
mistakes of the past to prophesy about the future. We 
keep an open mind, and are in close touch with the 

"But how?" I asked. (Stupidly, when I come to think 
of it. The Americans have evolved elaborate methods 
of sounding the public mind, for commercial as well 
as political purposes. Expert investigators can state with 
considerable accuracy what Fifth Avenue or Main Street 
is thinking, or Boston or Oshkosh. Nowadays there 
need be no mystery about the mind of the public. As 
Oscar Wilde said of Woman, it is "a Sphinx without a 

General Metaxas smiled, and did not answer my ques- 
tion directly. He rose and opened the window. A fan was 
already livening the air. 

"Our Government is popular," he said, "otherwise it 
would not exist. The Greek people could never be held by 
force. Facts have shown them that they are better off now 
than they used to be. We gave jobs immediately to all our 
2,870 workless veterans. Last year we were able to give 


8s. 6d. to every unemployed man for Christmas, instead of 
IS. 8d., as previously. 

"In the first six months of 1936 strikes cost the v^orkers 
159,000,000 drachmas (;^ 295,000). Since then there have 
been no strikes. We have introduced the eight-hour day, 
Sunday rest, holidays with pay, reforms v^hich were long 
overdue and which no political party had been able to 
carry through in the welter of parliamentary intrigue. 
Before August, 1936, the average wage of workers was 
IS. 6d. a day; it is now 2s. 4d. This is still too low, but 
nobody can deny that the workers are better off. 

"Under the previous governments the Communists were 
deliberately stirring up mass discontent. That is over. The 
political genius of the Greeks has recognized the futility of 
class warfare." 

"What do you consider the most important of the re- 
forms you have inaugurated?" I asked. 

"That is difficult to answer," the General replied. "Every- 
thing was to do in August, 1936. We have tried not to 
neglect any of the urgent problems. We had to create an 
air force and anti-air-raid organizations, for these were 
practically non-existent. We had to reequip the army, and 
we have done it without raising a loan. There was shock- 
ing disorder in our finances and in our industries. One of 
the best proofs of the return of public confidence is that 
savings bank deposits have increased by three milliard 
drachmas (;^5,5oo,ooo). Government securities are con- 
stantly rising in value." 

General Metaxas is a man of figures rather than rhetoric. 
I talked to him for an hour; he kept to facts, and made no 
prophecies or generalizations. One generalization, however, 
it is safe to make about present-day Greece: the country as 
a whole is contented, and is prospering as it has never done 
since the days of Byzantium. 


The same is true of Turkey, where an amazing trans- 
formation was wrought by the genius of Kemal Ataturk. 
This new vitaUty is noticeable everywhere except in 
Istanbul, that loveliest and most sinister of cities, which 
is to be tidied and town-planned in due course, but which 
nothing short of a cataclysm can deprive of her air of 
ruined majesty and her superb profile of domes and 

It was full moon when I arrived, and I at once took a 
caique to row up the Golden Horn. To the left rose old 
Stamboul, where I once lived as a prisoner of war, and to 
the right the lights of garish Pera. What memories Stam- 
boul brings, not of my own adventures, of which I am 
tired, but of illustrious history! Here the seed of the 
Renaissance lay fallow. Here Suleiman the Magnificent 
held court and built his marvelous mosques. And not until 
1908 did the pageantry of the Sublime Porte become en- 
tirely a diing of tinsel. 

At Dolma Baghtche, where Ataturk was living last year, 
paying the debt which even the great must pay to a 
flouted liver, the Hamidie Mosque gleams white against the 
cypressed shores of Europe and the turquoise waters of the 
Bosphorus, most splendid of sea-roads. Across the Bos- 
phorus rise the misty hills of Asia. . . . From the Palace 
of Yildiz Kiosk a ghostly procession sets forth. It is the 
Selamlik of Abdul Hamid the Damned — the traditional 
ritual progress to the mosque where the Caliph of Islam 
said his Friday prayers. 

Abdul Hamid — as I see him in my mind's eye — is ill 
and old, but he must not fail to attend Friday worship, 
for that would be equivalent to an abdication. Punctual 
to the second, he seats himself in his open victoria, takes 
the reins, whips up his champing, stamping Arabs. De- 
crepit though he seems indoors, he handles the ribbons 
well. In his pocket there is a loaded automatic pistol, with 


which he can bring down a running man at thirty yards 
(and has). Behind his carriage, according to ancient 
custom, run a pack of courtiers, which include — strange 
survival from the days when the Ottoman Sultans 
addressed the Princes of Christendom as their inferiors — 
two Europeans: a retired British Admiral, and a retired 
German General, who detest this homage to Grand Turk, 
but pay it for the sake of their handsome salaries, and the 
easy life they lead in their wistaria-covered yalis by the 

His Imperial Majesty is met by His Highness the Grand 
Eunuch, carrying the Sultan's slippers, and a dwarf from 
the Imperial Harem; the latter repeats the traditional 
formula: "Maghroullanmal Padishahim serden buyu\ Allah 
var!" "Be not over-proud, O Padishah! Remember that 
God is greater than thou!" 

Troops cheer, white handkerchiefs flutter, the Sultan 
salutes the crowd, and passes into the mosque. The 
Diplomatic Corps light their cigarettes. Another Selamlik 
is over. . . . And this was happening not thirty years 

I spent some hours in the Covered Bazaar, which still 
keeps something — something more than Baghdad — of the 
atmosphere of the Arabian Nights. It is an atmosphere of 
sanity rather than of glamour. There is an air of pur- 
poseful quiet about such a bazaar that does not exist in 
the West. The buyers are unhurried and unworried, and 
the sellers puff their rose-water pipes, or sip their coffee 
imperturbably. And how delicious and desirable their 
wares seem! Persian carpets, saddle-bags, sweetmeats, subtle 
perfumes, velvets, brocades, amber — one longs to possess 
them all! The smells of the spices are heavenly. Compare 
the Covered Bazaar with a department store, and you will 
see the gulf that divides us. In the one there is an all- 
pervasive, flat-footed drabness; in the other, and even in 


spite of Ataturk's clothes, the men and women are sharply 
individualized, and you will recognize, if you have traveled 
in the East, mountaineers, plainsmen, scholars, brigands, 
peasants, Greek shopkeepers, Whirling Dervishes, Devil 
Worshipers from Mosul, descendants of the Crusaders, 
Jev^s from the Spanish Migration, and Circassians whose 
daughters have caused men to die for bliss: the whole 
Near East in pageant, with its carpets and hookas and 

But what a misery has come to San Sofia! I remember it 
as a place of prayer, with its dim lights, and doves, and 
rich carpets laid askew, a place of worship and traditions, 
with eye-enchanting and ear-entrancing harmonies. I used 
to see soldiers praying there, and used to hear the voice of 
the Imam sending up to the archangels and saints and 
Emperors of long ago the resonant petitions of Mohammed, 
on whom be peace! It was a beautiful shine. To-day it 
is a bare Byzantine museum. Archeologists may be in- 
terested in the frescoes now uncovered: they leave me 

The Turks have good cause to distrust their own and 
other religious leaders. During the last days of the Cali- 
phate all the ecclesiastical authorities of the Moslem world 
sided with the Sultan against Ataturk's Nationalists. Nor 
were their Holinesses the (Ecumenical Patriarch of the 
Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Exarch, the Armenian 
Patriarch, the Papal Legate, or the Grand Rabbi of the 
Jews better disposed to the rebels of Ankara. 

To-day, in new Ankara, there is not a church or mosque. 
When the French wanted to build a private chapel by 
their Embassy they were asked not to make it too con- 
spicuous, as it would spoil the aspect of the "laicized city." 
Mullahs going to call the Faithful to prayer may not do 
so in their robes and turban: they must wear an overcoat 
and a slouch hat until safely within the precincts of the 


mosque. Even visiting Christian clergymen must turn their 
collars round, disguising themselves as civilians. . . . Yet 
religion is not persecuted, though its priests may not wear 
the uniform of their calling. I sav^ at least a dozen young 
officers at prayer in the Mosque of Sultan Ahmad in 
Istanbul, and as many civilians: a small proportion of the 
city's population, no doubt, but significant in the number 
of the military. The Turkish Chief of the General Staff is 
a devout Moslem. 

Tw^enty years ago Ankara w^as a sleepy little town, 
famous for its long-haired goats, and its cats with one 
green and one blue eye. (A couple of the latter are in a 
cage in Ataturk's model farm, looking as cross as cats 
always do when unreasonably deprived of liberty.) The 
old town was huddled along the side of a hill crowned by 
an ancient fort. Ataturk made it the headquarters of his 
national movement, and after his victory over the Greeks 
he decided to build his capital there. There was little 
water, so he dammed a valley. There were hardly any 
trees, so he planted a million acacias. It is a proudly 
planned city now; ugly, to my mind, but impressive. The 
population has grown from 20,000 to 140,000, and is still 
increasing. There is a racecourse, with weekly meetings 
throughout the spring and summer, two theaters, cinemas, 
restaurants, cosmopolitan hotels, and good shops. I was 
glad — and rather surprised — to see that the six leading 
men's tailors in Ankara all advertised that their cloth was 
genuine English tweed. 

But the Turks are busy establishing their own mills and 
factories throughout the country. A textile industry with 
modern looms has been started at Kayseri, and another 
at Adana. There is a silk factory at Broussa, a pottery at 
Kutahya, coke works at Zonguldak, a sugar refinery at 
Ushak, and cement, shoes, glass and araq factories at 
Istanbul: these are all new establishments. The Turks were 


always good craftsmen: to-day they are rapidly becoming 
an industrialized nation. 

In an Industrial Exhibition at Ankara I saw boys in a 
model foundry, boys making furniture, learning engineer- 
ing layout, and building houses; and girls making arti- 
ficial flowers, modeling hats, cutting-out, cooking. Other 
trades, such as mining, timber, ceramics, cellulose, and 
chemicals did not lend themselves to exhibition, but the 
specimens of handicraft sent from the forty-six industrial 
schools of Turkey were a revelation of progress. 

A boy in overalls and goggles was at work with a weld- 
ing outfit. Three peasant women, in black — his relations, 
no doubt — had come to see him in his glory. They stood 
staring, while he produced a shower of sparks with his 
oxy-acetylene blower. An hour later I passed that way 
again. They were still there, regarding him in open-eyed 

I have seen hundreds of factories and industrial exhibi- 
tions, from Stalingrad to Stuttgart, and from Detroit to 
Tatanagar, but I have never been so impressed as I was 
by what I saw in Ankara. In place of the Anatolian 
peasant whom I remember, with his baggy breeches and 
slow wits, a new kind of Turk has arisen, educated, alert, 
clever with his hands. 

In 1930 there were 3,000 industrial apprentices. Now 
there are 15,000. Turkey is not making the mistake we 
have made in India, of training up an army of young 
intellectuals who know about nothing in the world except 
a smattering of law or literature, and who soon join the 
ranks of the unemployed. On the contrary, education in 
Turkey is very carefully adjusted to the technical needs of 
the country; and vocational experts tour the land, fitting 
square pegs into square holes. 

The Turks have all the makings of a great people, and 
they have a sense of humor which an Englishman under- 


stands. Nasr-ud-din Hodja is a famous character in their 
literature: many of the stories about him concern his 
wife, who was a quarrelsome sort of woman. One day a 
friend met him in tears, walking up the bank of a river. 
The friend asked him why he was crying, and Nasr-ud- 
din Hodja said that his wife had fallen into the river, and 
that he was looking for her body. "But you are walking 
upstream," the friend said. "Don't you know that she 
would float down?" Nasr-ud-din shook his head. "You 
don't know my wife," he groaned. 

There is no doubt that the Turks have a sense of 
humor. They borrowed ^T 10,000,000 from us last sum- 
mer to buy munitions, and soon afterwards borrowed 
;r 15,000,000 from the Germans for the same purpose. 
Anyone who knows the Turks will agree that their arma- 
ments will be turned impartially against anyone who 
attempts to coerce them or cross the path of their 

Ismet Inonu, the new President, is said to be even more 
nationalistic than the great Ataturk. He is a small, ener- 
getic little man, hard of hearing, and, unlike his predeces- 
sor, of sober and regular habits. Both in the army and 
in civil life he has acquired a reputation for capacity 
and honesty. As a negotiator at Lausanne he proved him- 
self clever and tenacious. 

But Turkey is not Hkely to find again a man of the 
caliber of Ataturk. Underneath a picture of him at his 
model farm at Ankara, driving a tractor in a peaked 
cap, there is the following quotation from one of his 
speeches : 

"For seven hundred years we have neglected the peas- 
ant, and left his bones in foreign lands, but this country 
of ours is worth making a paradise for our descendants; 
and it can be done only by agriculture and economic 
activity. The arm which wields the sword may grow tired, 


but the hands which work the thresher and reaper will 
grow stronger and stronger." 

That was Ataturk's philosophy; and it applies to other 
countries also. He set his people to constructive tasks. 
Ismet Inonu will keep them there. 

# # # 

It would be easy to give statistics to show how all the 
countries of Southeastern Europe are reforming and re- 
generating themselves, but more impressive than any 
figures are the aspects of the Balkan capitals. In Ankara 
the change is amazing. Sofia has one of the best hotels 
in Europe. Belgrade has been turned in the last fifteen 
years from a town of cobbled alleyways into one of 
spacious and well-planned streets. In teeming, crowded, 
prosperous Bucharest one feels that one is in a smaller 
but gayer Paris. In Athens, at sunset on Lycabettus, you 
can look across to the Parthenon, and seaward to the 
Phaleron, seeing below you how the cradle of our civiliza- 
tion has grown, until to-day she accommodates 850,000 
citizens. In every capital there is pride in the past and 
confidence in the future, and a desire to improve condi- 
tions by brow's sweat rather than by bloodshed. 

It is a truism that the Balkans want peace. All coun- 
tries want peace ... on conditions. Certainly Germany 
does. But are her conditions such as must be resisted? 

Let us consider Eastern Europe from top to bottom. 
The story of Memel can be told very briefly, with no 
important omissions. 

Memel was founded by Germans in the year 1252. It 
belonged to the Germans from the fifteenth century until 
1919, when they were deprived of it by the Treaty of 

In February, 1920, the Memelland was occupied by 
French troops, who surrendered it, after a very slight 


show of resistance, to the Lithuanians in January, 1923. 
The Allied Powers inquired into this act of aggression, 
but decided to condone it, provided that the Memelland 
should be autonomous. But it was never allowed to be 
autonomous. The Lithuanians changed the name to 
Klaipeda. To every German surname in the telephone 
book of the city they added the Lithuanian termination 
of -as or As, making Herr Braun into M. Braunas, and so 
on. Ridiculous, no doubt, but irritating if it had happened 
to oneself. . . . 

English memories are very short as regards foreign 
affairs. We do not recollect how Europe kicked the Ger- 
mans when they were down, otherwise we would not be 
so surprised that they now hit back. Lithuania cut off 
all communication between Memellanders and their mother 
country. Letters in German were not delivered in Memel 
(which was 85 per cent German, 4 per cent Jewish, 11 per 
cent Lithuanian). The German language was not recog- 
nized in the law courts. Only Lithuanian officials were 
employed in the civil administration. From May 5th, 1934, 
the Memelland was placed under martial law. One hun- 
dred and twenty-six of the leading citizens were arrested, 
and four were condemned to death for pro-German agita- 
tion, but subsequently reprieved. 

We did nothing to see that justice was done to the 
140,000 German Memellanders. To-day it is difficult to 
blame Hitler for incorporating them into the Reich with- 
out asking our permission or Poland's. . . . 

As to Poland, she is a Great Power, with a rapidly grow- 
ing population of 33,000,000, immense natural resources, 
and a highly efficient standing army (at any rate when 
standing on its own ground) of 500,000 men. Without 
difficulty she can mobilize another million soldiers. Her 
cavalry regiments are well trained and well mounted. 

She has internal difficulties, however. There are 7,000,000 


Ukrainians within her borders, who want — many of them 
— to form an independent Ukraine with their brethren in 
Ruthenia, Rumania, and Russia. An independent Ukraine 
would be a nation of 45,000,000 people, with the finest 
wheat fields in the world, and great resources in min- 
erals and water power. The Poles and the Russians nat- 
urally look with extreme disfavor on this movement, 
and the Germans, also naturally, encourage it as far as 
they can. But do the Ukrainians themselves desire inde- 
pendence? My information is that the majority of them 
in Russia, in spite of Communism, prefer to be ruled by 
the Slav devil they know rather than by the Teuton of 
whom they have heard nothing good. But this does not 
alter the fact that a semi-mutinous minority of 7,000,000 
people is a thorn in the flesh of Poland. 

The next difficult minority in Poland is that of the 
Jews — 3,500,000 red-haired, semi-Slav Ashkenazim — whom 
the Poles wish to send to the remotest possible part of 
the earth. You may see them by the thousand in the 
ghetto in Warsaw, picturesque and dignified figures with 
their long hair and flowing gaberdines; and if you do, 
you will wonder what is to be the fate of these poor 
people. I wish I knew, and could suggest something use- 
ful. It is a mistake to suppose that all Jews can adapt 
themselves to the slick city life of the West: these people 
still seem to be living in the Middle Ages. 

Finally, and the most important problems of all for 
Poland, are the related questions of Danzig, the Corridor, 
and the German minority of 900,000 settled along the 
German-Polish frontier. What arrangements can Poland 
make with Germany? Danzig and the Corridor have 
been discussed for years, and before the advent of Hitler 
all British Pinks were saying that Germany was unjustly 
treated. Now they are ready to make us fight if the sacred 
soil of Poland is touched. 


Fortunately we have only committed ourselves to a 
general guarantee of Poland as against a German threat 
of force. We cannot, or at least should not, guarantee 
Danzig, vv^hich is German, or the unjust arrangement of 
the Corridor by which Germany must pass through for- 
eign territory in order to reach an integral part of the 
Reich. Nevertheless, Poland has a right of access to the 
sea. There is no reason why there should not be a Ger- 
man corridor across the Polish corridor, linking Berlin 
with Danzig and Konigsberg. 

With Hungary I have already dealt. It is the only 
country in Europe, except England, where an old aris- 
tocracy has retained some of its power. The Upper 
House in Budapest is a picturesque sight, with 3 Arch- 
dukes, 4 Princes, 162 Peers, 19 Bishops, and i Grand 
Rabbi. In spite, or perhaps because, of this aristocracy, 
Hungary is a fundamentally democratic country; and 
she is only dangerous to peace because she was so badly 
treated by the victorious powers after the Great War. 
By hook or by crook she will work for the return of her 
1,700,000 Magyars in Rumania and 600,000 exiles in Yugo- 

The Balkan rulers — Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, King 
Boris of Bulgaria, King Carol of Rumania, and King 
George of Greece — speak English as well as they do the 
languages of their own countries. They have close ties 
of blood with our Royal Family, and many intimate 
English friends. Our influence in the Balkans exists, and 
will remain, unless we come to a serious quarrel with 
Germany. In that event these rulers would have to make 
a painful choice. Paul might be compelled by geo-political 
considerations to side with the Axis Powers, against his 
will. Boris might have to follow suit. Carol would sit 
on the fence, if so permitted. George would be on our 


But the situation in the Balkans is very difficult and 
delicate. King Carol is certainly not pro-German (in spite 
of his ancestry), nor is he pro-Russian; he is devoted to 
his country, and would like to be strong enough to snap 
his fingers at all exploiters. To-day Bucharest has come 
into the limelight as the focus of the Drang nach Osten, 
and we shall have to make up our minds exactly how far 
we mean to allow Germany to go, and how to stop her if 
she goes too far. 

The question is not easy. Possibly, with the help of 
France and the problematical help of Russia, we might so 
far strengthen Rumania that she would definitely ally 
herself with us. So also with Yugoslavia. Given large quan- 
tities of war material and money — not promises, but metal 
and active credits — with a binding pledge that we would 
quickly send troops, Rumania and Yugoslavia might align 
themselves in an anti-German bloc. But let us not deceive 
ourselves about the result. If the Axis Powers felt that their 
trade was being strangled, such a policy would lead to a 
world war. 

A recent week-end rumor with regard to Rumania 
throws a curious light upon anti-German activities in Eng- 
land. Immediately after the German march into Bohemia 
we heard — by streamer headlines in the majority of Sun- 
day newspapers — that Germany had delivered an ultima- 
tum in Bucharest, demanding that Rumanian industries 
should be abolished (!) and that Rumania should be- 
come entirely a producer of raw products. Under these 
conditions Germany would guarantee to take all her sur- 
plus wheat and oil. If she refused, then German troops — 
we were told — were massing on her northern frontiers, 
ready for invasion. 

On the strength of this fairy-tale the British Government 
lost no time in cabling to its diplomatic representatives in 
Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey — and most unfortu- 


nately also Russia — asking what help they would give us 
in resisting such aggression. A few hours later, however, 
it was learned that the report had beeen emphatically 
denied in Bucharest and many other capitals, including 
of course Berlin, and that negotiations for a German- 
Rumanian trade agreement (since signed) were proceed- 
ing normally. At that time Germany could not have at- 
tacked Rumania even if she had wished to do so, for she 
had no troops beyond Briinn and Bratislava. 

The folly of asking Russia to cooperate in any arrange- 
ment in which we hoped to include Poland and Greece 
needs no emphasis to readers of this book; and one must 
suppose that the British Foreign Office was acting under 
orders to please the Left-Wing supporters of the Govern- 
ment when it asked for the help of the U.S.S.R. Russia 
cannot easily be invaded by Germany, and, in the improb- 
able event of being attacked and defeated, she could al- 
ways retire to the Urals, where her main munitions centers 
are. It is obvious that the U.S.S.R. will encourage Europe 
to a conflict on the largest possible scale, but that her par- 
ticipation will be confined to picking up the pieces when 
the captains and the kings depart. 

Although, as I have said, Germany's position in Central 
Europe and the Balkans is not as strong as it seems on paper, 
ours also would be weak in the event of an attempted 

Rumania and Yugoslavia are both riven by internal dis- 
sensions. Either country might collapse under the strain 
of a war, and it would be very difficult to keep Yugoslavia 
supplied with munitions unless the Adriatic were free of 
hostile submarines. 

Can we detach Italy from the Axis? Would Spain re- 
main neutral if we entered a war in alliance with Russia? 
Are we in a position to safeguard these Balkan countries 
from the destruction of their capitals by air-power? It 


would be a bold man who answered these questions in the 

On what line, then, and for what purpose, are we pre- 
pared to make a stand? We cannot keep entirely clear of 
Europe, much as I wish it were possible, but neither can 
we legitimately maintain the status quo in the Balkans, 
Danzig, and the Corridor. In those matters we should 
demand to be consulted, together with France, of course; 
and if we were not consulted, and Germany were mad 
enough to drive ahead with threats and tanks, then we 
should declare war. Nothing else would be possible. We 
should declare war, and we should attack Italy first, be- 
cause she is more vulnerable, turning the whole weight of 
our arms against her, unless she came in on our side. But 
before this calamity can be contemplated — this nightmare 
of destruction — we must make it abundantly clear to the 
Axis Powers that we have no desire to block their legiti- 
mate commerce. 

In the end — even if there is to be war, which I do not 
believe — we shall have to return to Mussolini's original 
idea of a Four-Power Pact. There can be no real settlement 
in the Balkans without the cooperation of Germany. We 
must convince her, on the one hand, that absolute dominion 
of Southeastern Europe would be intolerable to us, and, 
on the other, that we do not mean to starve her trade or 
encircle her. As to Rumania and Yugoslavia, we must 
remember that Italy is no more anxious than we are to see 
Germany predominant in these countries, and that she can 
use methods of persuasion with her partner likely to be 
more effective than our protests. 

Germany is a great nation who cannot be denied liv- 
ing room. (What she can and must be denied is indefinite 
expansion.) She needs the trade of the Balkans, not its 
territory. She buys twice as much from Southeastern 
Europe as Great Britain, France, and the United States 


together. She can afford to buy the wheat, the iron-ore, 
and the tobacco of these countries at prices above world 
prices on her barter system. She can also threaten not to 
buy from them, and, as the share of any individual country 
is only 2 or 3 per cent of the total German import trade, 
she has an enormous economic power, which cannot pos- 
sibly be denied to her 80,000,000 people. 

In 1938 Bulgaria sent 50 per cent of her produce to 
Germany, Yugoslavia and Rumania each 33 per cent, and 
the defunct Czecho-Slovakia 20 per cent. These figures 
are likely to be greatly increased under recent agreements. 
Yugoslavia, for instance, is sending 60 per cent of her pro- 
duce to Germany. But the percentages are not so conclusive 
— important as they are — as the command exercised by Ger- 
many over the Danube. 

A Danube barge can take about four trainloads of 
goods — say 360 wagons — and a tug can pull three to 
five barges, so that a tug is from twelve to twenty times 
as efficient as an engine. Germany commands the head- 
waters of the navigable Danube, which is to be linked by 
an enormous canal system with the Atlantic. She has 
far-reaching and far-sighted plans for the development 
of the Balkans, and the Balkans unquestionably need 
development. In the long run (given peace, of course) we 
shall benefit as much as anyone from the higher stand- 
ard of living and increased purchasing power of these 
countries. We own a large share of the earth ourselves; 
are we to adopt a dog-in-the-manger policy about the 
remainder ? 

When diplomats talk, they always have armies, navies, 
and air-strengths at the back of their minds. This is quite 
inevitable. It is regrettable that the law of the jungle 
should prevail in human affairs, but it does, to a very large 
extent. Christianity has done a little to redeem us from 
savagery, but only a little. It is no use shutting our eyes 


to the facts, and pretending that they are otherwise. This 
is an age of steel, when the weak go to the wall. Let us 
redeem our age, by all means, but we shall never do that 
by make-believe. 

If we are to take a part in settling Europe, we must be 
strong. Let us take as small a part as we can, consistently 
with our honor and safety, for we have immense and to 
us far more important responsibilities overseas; but if we 
talk of settlements let us talk in the language which Europe 
understands — that is, in armies, navies, air-fleets. 

There are many imponderabilia in the situation, many 
nations sitting on the fence, many almost irreconcilable 
interests to be brought together, but the task can be done, 
by experts, in privacy, so long as mutual suspicion can be 
allayed. That is the question. Can suspicion be allayed? 
Not if we refuse every request of the dictatorships for 
revision, and then raise our hands in horror when they 
take what they can by force. For the rest, man to man, 
point by point, diplomats could hammer out the peace of 
Europe which we all desire. 

> • » ) • » ) -^ ■ >» • ») C « - <« - C« - C« - C « - C « ' c « - c« - c« - c « - c c c- 


Arriba Espana! 

When a long train of abuses and usurpations evinces a design to 
reduce a people under an absolute despotism, it is their right, it is 
their duty, to throw off such a Government, and to provide new 
guards for their security. 

Declaration of the Independence of the 
United States, 1776. 


TRAVELER entering Spain from Biarritz is confronted 
immediately with wrecked Irun, whose empty shells of 
houses, twisted wreckage of girders, and mountains of 
rubble, stand as witness to the blast of Communist destruc- 
tion which passed over the city. 

It is the same at Eibar, which was dynamited before the 
Anarchists left it. Thousands of these dinamiteros escaped 
across the French frontier, were sent to Perpignan, where 
their arms were returned to them, and traveled thence to 
Barcelona, to continue the war for another two years. 

At Durango, where the Dean of Canterbury saw the 
bombing of the Church of Santa Maria, I was fortunate 
in meeting the Rector of a nearby church (St. Michael 
the Archangel of Yurreta-Durango), who had also wit- 
nessed the tragedy. What the Dean did not know, or 
omitted to state, was that up to within ten days of the 
bombing — some witnesses said a week — the Church of 
Santa Maria was used as a store and market. No 
Mass had been said there since September, 1936, until 
just before the bombing in February, 1937, nor any- 
where in Durango except at the Convent of the Jesuit! 
Fathers, where a thousand Basque Separatist soldiers werei 




The church of my informant (St. Michael's) was used 
as a munitions depot from September, 1936, until the end 
of February, 1937. Neither the Rector nor any other priest 
in Vizcaya ever dared to appear in public except in plain 
clothes during the Red occupation. At the time of the 
bombing of Durango there were 3,000 Red troops in the 
town. How could the Nationalists be blamed for deaths 
which occurred under these circumstances, and in a town 
so close to the front? 

I met the Rector of St. Michael's quite by chance. Other 
persons I questioned fully confirmed his statements. There 
is no possibility of witnesses having been "planted" 
for my edification. Incidentally, my inquiries both at 
Durango and Guernica convinced me that Nationalist 
rule in Vizcaya is very lenient. Everyone spoke to me 
fully and freely of what , had happened, and only once 
was I stopped by a policeman and asked to show my 

I spent a long time in Guernica, piecing together that 
tragic story. The original Nationalist communique that 
the place was not bombed was a mistake: it was thought 
that the reports related to April 27, when, in fact, there 
was no flying owing to bad weather. Guernica was 
bombed intermittently for about three and a half hours 
on the afternoon of April 26, 1937. How many bombs fell 
and what destruction they caused it is now impossible 
to establish, and the evidence of "eye-witnesses" some 
five or six miles away, or of civilians hiding in cellars, is 
obviously unreliable. All the witnesses I questioned stated 
that the place caught fire, that the fire brigade arrived 
from Bilbao, and that it was sent away again by the Red 

Now Guernica was a nodal point in the Red defense, 
being the gateway to Bilbao, and the junction of four 
important and three lesser roads; and a concentration of 
3,000 Red troops was expected to occur on the 26th. 


(These troops arrived, in fact, on the 27th, and more troops 
passed through Guernica that day and the next, retiring 
towards the Iron Belt. The Nationalists entered on the 
29th.) Two battalions of troops were living in a vacated 
convent near the town, and diere were arms and munitions 
factories in the neighborhood. The Nationalists had 
every right to bomb, burn, or otherwise destroy a vital 
military objective five miles from their front line, and if 
any civilians suffered it was the fortune of war, or the 
fault of the Republicans for not evacuating them. They 
could not expect to be immune from air attack in 

Guernica was certainly bombed by the Nationalists, but 
it was also dynamited and burned down by the Anarchists, 
and then used for propaganda purposes. The Basque 
President, Senor Aguirre, gave himself away when he 
wrote to the newspapers: "They have sought to wound 
us in the tenderest part of our feelings as patriots, showing 
once again what the Basque race has to hope for from 
those who do not hesitate to destroy even the sanctuary 
wherein are enshrined the centuries of our free democ- 
racy. . . . The German planes reduced the Holy City of 
the Basques to ashes." 

Now Guernica was not reduced to ashes. Neither the 
Sanctuary nor the Tree of Guernica was damaged. Less 
than 100 people were killed, and about 50 houses were 
destroyed. This has been fully proven by the official 
inquiry of the Nationalists.* It has been proven, also, 
that at eight o'clock at night, when the bombing was 
over, less than a quarter of the town was burning, that no 
effort to extinguish the fire was made, or permitted, by 
the militia, or by the Bilbao fire brigade, when it arrived 
at 9.30 p.m., and that explosions and fires continued through- 

* Guernica, with an introduction by Sir Arnold Wilson. Eyre and Spottis- 
woode, 1938. 


out the night and j olio wing day, April ijth. After all, 
what possible object could the Nationalists have in antag- 
onizing, more than necessary to win battles, the people they 
were soon to rule? 

What convinced me (but there are many other proofs) 
that Guernica was destroyed chiefly by dinamiteros is that 
the whole of one side of a street below the Casa de Juntas 
is gutted, while the other side stands intact, save for one 
house which was bombed, but not burned. How could 
airplanes destroy buildings along a straight line of over 
200 yards? 

A few miles northwest of Guernica a real atrocity oc- 
curred, of which little has been said. At Munguia stood 
the big Church of Santa Maria, used as a dancing hall by 
the Reds, with an inscription over the transept: "May 
Franco die as Mola did!" When the Anarchists retreated, 
they left a hidden mine, with a time fuse. Forty boys — 
a squad of young Requetes — were sweeping up litter, clean- 
ing the desecrated altars, and some of them were climbing 
the dome to hoist the flag of Spain, when a terrific explo- 
sion buried them all. For hours their cries were heard by 
the terrified villagers, but they could not be rescued from 
the ruins. Even when I saw Santa Maria, two months later, 
the work of clearing had been only half done. There were 
bodies of children still buried there. 

The world has rung with the "horrors of Guernica." 
Would that the world took note of the methods of 
Moscow ! 

Until I went over the battlefields of Bilbao I had no 
idea of how consistently the Reds used noncombatants as 
pawns behind which to maneuver. For instance, in a let- 
ter from the Spanish Embassy in London, which was 
given great prominence in a London newspaper, it was 
stated that "the rebels are bpmbarding the road from Bilbao 
to Santander, killing thousands of women and children," 


and the demand was made that "England shall assist in 
the evacuation of the children, the women, and the old 
men," because "Bilbao will never surrender." We know 
now that at the time this letter was written 20,000 Anarchists 
were escaping along the Bilbao-Santander road, and that 
when Bilbao surrendered thousands of Basques welcomed 
Franco's troops with joy. 

The Government forces had time to prepare eighty 
miles of a complicated and expensive system of fortifica- 
tions, and they had time to prepare the destruction of 
practically every bridge and culvert round Bilbao. But 
they had no time to remove women and children from 
the war zone. 

The same sinister use of women and children is evident 
in the 1939 retreat from Barcelona. Perhaps there is no 
more disgusting spectacle in history than the heroics of 
Dr. Negrin to the rump of the Cortes. "We shall never 
surrender!" he cries in the safety of a cellar at Figueras. 
Then he takes a car into France, leaving 250,000 refugees 
mixed up with the retreating army. In London, mean- 
while, the Republican Embassy issues a statement (January 
27th) that "the fall of Barcelona neither alters nor weak- 
ens, but rather strengthens, the determination to resist 
foreign invasion which the Spanish people took two and 
a half years ago." In France, Dr. Negrin is forbidden to 
conduct his political activities, so he returns to Madrid, 
still the faithful agent of the Comintern. But even the 
Republicans are now weary of his eloquence and inca- 
pacity: he and his henchmen, including La Pasionaria and 
four Russian officials, embark in an airplane and escape once 
more to safety, leaving the Republican soldiers to san- 
guinary conflicts between themselves, until Franco's troops 
bring bread, and sanity, and justice. 

So many astounding lies have been told about the 
Nationalists that it would seem useless to attempt to deny 


them in detail. But when the Leader of the Liberal Opposi- 
tion (Sir Archibald Sinclair) solemnly states in the House 
of Commons that "the most terrible atrocities are being 
committed by airmen under General Franco's orders," and 
that he has information that they "have dropped chocolate 
boxes in the streets of Spanish towns, and when the children 
have gone to pick them up, the boxes have exploded in 
their faces and blown their hands off,"* one feels that 
comment is almost unnecessary. 

The British public may be gullible, but surely few of 
us imagine that infernal machines can be made to fall 
from a height and look like boxes of confectionery after 
impact, and not explode, yet explode when a child opens 
them. Conceivably they might be sent down by para- 
chute, though one would think a child would look with 
suspicion on such a contrivance, and even so the question 
remains why does Franco employ his Air Force to muti- 
late children? When these objections were raised by the 
member for Oxford, Sir Archibald Sinclair said that "he 
preferred not the hypothetical reasoning of Mr. Hogg, but 
the actual statement of the two ladies who had gone out 
to Spain, worked there, and had given their stories in 
public, and the Duke of Atholl, who had a name of honor 
and had made the statement in a letter to the public Press. 
That was his evidence and he stood by it." We must leave 
Sir Archibald standing. 

^ jb 4^ 

TP TP *7r 

Living was very cheap in Nationalist Spain during my 
visits to the war zones. In crowded Salamanca eggs were 
I id. a dozen, and beef is. a pound. A dish of cuttlefish 
stewed in its own ink (a delicacy greatly prized by Span- 
iards, which tastes to me like rubber) cost is. In Trujillo I 

* The Times, Parliamentary Report, March ist, 1939. 


inquired the price of a sucking-pig for sale in the market- 
square: it was IS. 3d. 

General Franco's administration behind the battle-lines 
was an earnest of his success as a ruler in peace-time. The 
organization of Nationalist Spain was a magnificent piece 
of work. Citizens went about their business amid well- 
stocked shops. Taxis plied for hire. In the north they played 
pelota. There were Sunday bull-fights in many cities, and 
immense reserves of everything: men, food, faith. I began 
to realize then what lies I had been reading in England; 
for the truth about the liberated districts of Spain was not 
hard for a visitor to discover. 

Traveling from San Sebastian to Salamanca, one could 
not fail to note that living was easy, and the people happy. 
It was Sunday when I arrived in Spain. From the Church 
of the Good Shepherd in San Sebastian thousands were 
emerging after the last Mass, and the streets and the cafes 
were crowded. Burgos was packed with people: the restau- 
rants overflowing. 

As far as the eye could reach, on the great plains that 
stretch from there to Salamanca, and beyond, bumper 
crops were being reaped by a sturdy, healthy, well-dressed 
peasantry. (Although at work on this day of rest the chil- 
dren's clothes were spotless, and the women's hair beau- 
tifully combed.) Everywhere the corn lay spread for thresh- 
ing, and over it circled mules and oxen in immemorial 
fashion. The harvest was piling up in every village. Only 
at Torquemada did the work appear finished; there, along 
the graceful twisting bridge that leads to the birthplace 
of the Grand Inquisitor, boys and girls were strolling in 
their Sunday best. At Duemas, near Valladolid, which 
had recently suffered from an air-raid (it is an open village, 
undefended), the inhabitants had cut a gigantic "Viva 
Franco!" on the hillside, to defy the Republicans to do 
their worst. ' 


It was twilight when we stopped to slake our thirst at 
Valladolid. When we came out of the cafe the grand old 
square was packed twenty and thirty deep by people listen- 
ing to a speech over the wireless by the Generalissimo. 
Was this crowd being coerced? Was its interest feigned? 
I do not think any sane person who saw what I saw could 
have doubted that Franco's movement was rooted deeply 
in the hearts of the people. 

The day following my arrival in Salamanca, a parade 
was held at which the Italian Ambassador presented his 
credentials to General Franco. Crowds surged in the mag- 
nificent Plaza Mayor. One saw the Moorish cavalry in 
their white robes of ceremony, riding splendidly caparisoned 
stallions, young Requetes with their red berets, recruits 
with the yoke and arrows of the Phalanx embroidered on 
their sleeves, magnificent old men in flowing mantles: it 
was a scene of pageantry straight from the story of Leon 
and Castile. All Spain is steeped in tradition: now its his- 
tory lives again. 

My first sight of General Franco was at this reception, 
and although I did not speak to him then, I was able to 
observe him closely. He is only 44, and looks young for 
his age. Cares sit lightly on him. He has the reputation 
of never being worried. Most Spaniards have an extraor- 
dinarily graceful and dignified carriage, and Franco is 
no exception. His feet and hands are small, and his body 
active, though thick-set and deep-chested: his brown eyes 
are mobile and expressive. It was strange to think that 
this man had served so long in the Foreign Legion, and 
won such a reputation among his comrades there. There 
seemed nothing "tough" about him, yet he had been 
wounded in the desert, twice decorated for gallantry, and 
was the youngest General in the Spanish Army. In the 
scarred and one-armed Millan d'Astray or in the hard- 
bitten Queipo de Llano one could see the heroes of Beau 


Geste, but Franco was all sparkle and smiles, joking with 
the Ambassador about the barrage of camera-men that 
confronted them. 

Some weeks later I was privileged to meet him, but first 
I traveled south and east. In Seville I interviewed General 
Queipo de Llano. When a member of my party asked 
him to tell the amazing story of how he took Seville with 
180 men, he answered: "That's ancient history! You gen- 
tlemen must be more interested in to-day and to-morrow! 
Are you going to tell your people that the French are 
sending a thousand men a day across the Pyrenees?" 

He took us to his map-room and explained how he 
intended to capture Jaen. He is an extraordinary person- 
ality: powerful, energetic, religious, romantic, lovable. (And 
our Press was representing him as a hiccoughing bully!) 
Obviously he is a descendant of the men who carried the 
banners of Spain to the New World. 

Had he really revealed, I wondered, his coming plan of 
operations? Time proved that he had not; but I think he 
told us what he would have liked to do. 

I met an English business man resident in Seville who 
asked me what the devil our Press was playing at. And 
the B.B.C.? "They will ruin British trade," he said, "if 
they go on telling such lies. The people worship Queipo 
here, especially the poor, and nobody has been hurt who 
wasn't a murderer or a thief. You will see for yourself 
what Malaga is like when you go there, then you will realize 
from what we have been saved." 

I did. When I went to cash a check in Malaga, the 
cashier — an Englishman — leaned forward and said: "I hope 
you are on Franco's side?" On hearing that we were, he 
told us of the terror through which the residents had lived. 
What he said we confirmed from other accounts, and from 
the evidence of our eyes. 

Lists had been prepared of the leading Nationalist sym- 


pathizers. On July 19th, the day after the revolution broke 
out, the mob was sent to the houses of some fifty selected 
victims. These places v^ere burned and pillaged, and the 
inhabitants v^ere shot, knifed, axed, or burned alive — men, 
w^omen and children. 

The houses were mostly on the fashionable Caleta, 
running eastward from the port along the shores of the 
Mediterranean. Between their blackened walls and tram- 
pled gardens other villas are standing, serene and unmo- 
lested, for they belonged to Red partisans, or had been 
required for Government purposes. The results of that 
day of wrath were there for all to see. The Popular 
Front in Spain executed a long-prepared and cold-blooded 
scheme of Terror. The mob was never out of hand. It 
was deliberately directed against the persons and property 
of its opponents. 

Within twenty-four hours the burning and looting ceased, 
and mass executions took their place. How many peo- 
ple were shot and shoveled wholesale into pits has not 
yet been ascertained, but they numbered at least 10,000. 
(In Madrid at least 50,000 were murdered, and in Barce- 
lona more than that number. The total of Communist 
murders committed in Spain is believed to be 300,000, but 
it will be some time before the world can learn the exact 
figures.) There was no trial; merely an order from one 
of the gangs which controlled the city — Anarchists, Trotsky- . 
ists, Marxists, or the several kinds of Socialists. Mere chil- 
dren, armed with sawn-off shotguns, committed many of 
the early murders in Malaga. 

The Caleta Palace Hotel, where we stayed, had been 
the headquarters of the Red Aviation stafiF. It is intact, for 
it had been used to house some 120 officers, of whom we 
were told that half were Russians. 

One of the waiters, who had been compelled to serve 
the Reds, but had escaped from them during the panic 


caused by the Nationalist advance, told me that women 
of the town sat drinking with the officers night after night: 
citizens of Malaga were starving, but the officers were 
never short of wine or meat. For three and a half months 
the hotel staff received no wages. When the airmen left 
the hotel it was so filthy that it took a week to clean with 
the aid of a fire engine and disinfectants. 

So also in one of the parish churches adjoining the Cathe- 
dral, which had to be whitewashed three times, except that 
there was destruction as well as dirt. The Cathedral was 
not burned, but was used as a hospital, and \vas in a 
filthy state when the city was captured. In the neighboring 
chapel the reredos and organ were torn down, and the 
high altar and side altars had been dynamited. Tombs had 
been dug up, pictures slashed, the head of a statue of the 
Virgin was carefully sawn in half. This particular mutila- 
tion impressed me more than the others, because of its 
laborious and lunatic hate. 

In January, 1937, the Diluvio of Barcelona declared : "One 
by one the rats of the Confessional will be sought out 
by our terriers, their lairs destroyed, and their nests set 
on fire." These terriers of Communism, to judge by the 
third-degree cells discovered in the Convent of San Juan 
in Barcelona (converted into a prison in 1937), had been 
trained in the most modern methods of persuasion known 
to the Comintern. 

The construction of these special rooms at San Juan, 
where confessions were extracted from political suspects, 
was quite simple, and at first sight not very alarming. 
The floor of the cell was covered with bricks set on edge, 
so that the prisoner could not lie down or walk about 
except in acute discomfort. The bed was of concrete and 
set at a slope of twenty degrees, which tempted a tired 
man to doze, but as soon as his muscles relaxed in sleep 
he would roll off and fall on the bricks. The walls were 


painted with white dots and diagonal lines in a jazz pat- 
tern. A metronome ticked out the seconds day and night. 
That was all . . . and nicely calculated to produce acute 

Specialists from the G.P.U. in Moscow observed the 
men and women confined in these places. The prisoners 
entered barefoot, or in obstinate cases entirely naked. 
Bright lights were turned on them for hours at a time. 
Sleepless, hypnotized by the tick-tock of the metronome, 
maddened by the cubist designs, and constantly ques- 
tioned, the inmates of these cells gradually — sometimes 
quickly — lost their mental balance. They did not go mad. 
There was no violent torture. That would have been 
useless. The object was to break wills, not bones. One 
sees how in a week or two, or a month, or a year, the 
directors of the prison could achieve almost any results 
required. . . . 

However, more drastic punishments also existed. There 
were cubicles too small for prisoners to lie or sit in any 
comfort, yet just large enough to induce them to make 
the attempt. There were electric chairs, in which stubborn 
people were questioned while voltages of varying intensity 
were passed through their bodies. There were little cellars 
where captives dosed with castor oil were placed to writhe 
in their own excrement. And there were rooms where 
men were hung up by one leg and swung to and fro, their 
heads just brushing through a trough of water. Some 
half-demented individuals are still alive who endured these 
horrors. But to me the confession cells are better evidence 
than any "ordinary" cruelty of the carefully planned work 
of the Comintern. 

It was to a Government that permitted, indeed that 
must have approved of, such things — for this hellish 
prison was built with elaborate care — that Mr. Attlee, 
Miss Ellen Wilkinson, and Mr. Noel Baker went, visiting 


hospitals, factories, trenches. Little they knew of what 
was happening in the Convent of San Juan when they 
attended a meeting of Anti-Fascist Women "in favour of 
the unification of Marxist Parties," or when, at a recep- 
tion at Madrid Town Hall, they gave the clenched fist 
salute while "God Save the King" was played in their 
honor. On their way back to Valencia, Major Attlee 
addressed a British battalion of the International Brigade, 
named in his honor, and declared that the party was 
"impressed by the organization and spirit of the Spanish 

Atrocities may sometimes be exaggerated or even faked 
(though in Spain, alas! there are too many living witnesses 
to leave any doubt that bestial cruelties occurred), but 
what exaggeration can there be about material destruc- 
tion? The ruins are there, or they are not. Would that 
my wishful-thinking friends, who hate to see dictatorships 
successful, could see the desecrated churches and dyna- 
mited houses of Southern Spain! 

Would that they could see, also, a large room at 
Salamanca containing documents seized when the 
Nationalists entered Bilbao. There is there a telegram 
from Comrade Dimitrov, appointing certain individuals 
to certain positions in Vizcaya. There is a telegraph book 
showing the cables sent from Bilbao to all parts of the 
world; most of them are to Moscow, asking for advice 
or supplies. There are piles of mimeographed news- 
sheets, sent daily by air mail from the Kremlin to the 
newspapers of Bilbao. To me the most interesting find 
in this room was a correspondence between an English 
M.P. and a journalist in Bilbao who excelled himself in 
describing the Guernica affair. Among other striking 
passages the following occurs: "With regard to Spain, 
I have taken new and very vigorous action, and in the 

* The Times, December 8th, 1937. 


form which I hope may produce results. It is, in my 
view, really there that the best hope lies, as I have always 
told you. Here I have tried to make trouble of every 
kind, and I think in some directions I have been suc- 

Trouble of every kind! This gentleman means well, I 
believe, in that he is at heart a patriot, but he pursues 
his policies with reckless ignorance. He and his friends 
are making us hated in half Europe. 

On my way to Toledo I passed through Trujillo, the 
country from which came the Conquistadores. It is a 
grand, bleak upland, with brigands, wild bulls, lovely 
children, and boys who gave us the Fascist salute. The 
tall peasants have the bearing of hidalgos, and their tall 
wives, carrying jars on their heads, walk like conquerors. 
The ancestors of these people dominated Europe for 150 
years. Their blood and language continues in South 
America, and to-day on that continent their victory is 
making a profound impression. At the Eucharistic Con- 
gress held at Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, in 1937, 
crowds cheered General Franco and his armies as the 
saviors of Christian civilization. In the Argentine there 
were "Fascist demonstrations" (in reality pro-Christian 
and pro-Franco demonstrations) at Santa Fe, Parana, 
Rosario, Cordova, Tucuman, Mendoza, San Juan, and 
the great capital of Buenos Aires; also at Montevideo in 
Uruguay. General Franco's victory has increased the 
already large influence of Spain and her allies in Latin 
America, which is by no means enamored nowadays with 
the Monroe Doctrine. But these matters are beyond our 
European province. . . . 

tP tF ^ 

The story of Toledo is already history. One should visit 
the Alcazar as it is (and soon this will be impossible, for 


it is being rebuilt) in order to understand how 1,100 men 
(with 520 women and 50 children) withstood a seventy 
days' siege by 10,000 attackers, who dropped into the 
fortress 11,800 shells and 500 bombs, and exploded three 
enormous mines. 

In Colonel Moscardo's office I saw the bullet-splashed 
walls, the sandbagged windows, and the telephone into 
which his famous words were spoken."^ 

Perhaps the most impressive place in the Alcazar is the 
patio at its center, where in the early days the garrison 
played football, and upon whose ramparts, when the last 
great mine exploded, an assailant planted the Red flag, 
only to be hurled down into the smoking ruins below. 
Meanwhile, in an underground gallery next to the stables 
a woman lay in childbirth. When the explosion occurred 
she gave birth to a boy, who has since been made an 
honorary cadet of the Alcazar. 

Toledo is unforgettable, and the last great conflict to 
be waged round its fortress is symbolic of more than the 
Spanish Civil War; it will live, when the truth about it is 
known,t as one of the immortal stories of the world, part 
of the heritage of mankind. 

On the evening of my visit to the Alcazar I dined at 
the Venta des Aires, where in the gay old days a venerable 
couple kept the best restaurant in Toledo. People used 
to motor over from Madrid to enjoy their cooking. Senor 
Aires was seventy-three when the siege began. He had 
built up his restaurant entirely by his own skill, from 

* The Reds held Moscardo's son a prisoner. They offered to spare his 
life if the Commandant would surrender the fortress. Moscardo asked to 
telephone to him, and said: "My son, you can pray for us, and then die 
like a Christian!" He was duly shot. 

t The Epic of the Alcazar, by G. McNeill-Moss (Geoffrey Moss). Rich 
and Cowan, 1937. This carefully documented account, with its many side- 
lights on the character of the Spaniards, should be read by all whose pulses 
stir to deeds of heroism and chivalry. 


nothing, and he was a Monarchist. The Reds shot him and 
left him on a dung-heap. His old wife told me of the 
murder, with tears streaming down her face. 

That night, sleepless in a cold bed, my mind kept 
turning over the events of the siege. I thought of the 
scene, so well described by Geofifrey Moss, where Largo 
Caballero, until lately one of the heroes of Left-Wing 
England, stood with a group of camera-men to watch an 
attempt to blow up the defenders of the Alcazar with 
their 570 women and children. True, the noncombatants 
had been offered a safe conduct to Red territory, but so 
were all women and children in Republican Spain offered 
food and shelter behind the Nationalist lines. When 
Caballero sends Russian airplanes to drop high explosives 
into the Alcazar, and three times tries to blow it sky-high, 
he is conducting military operations. Admitted. But when 
Franco bombs Barcelona the British Government telegraph 
an indignant protest because some women and children 
have inevitably been killed. Again, just before the advance 
to Barcelona, we telegraph to Franco asking him to be 
merciful to his opponents. How strangely our advice will 
read in the light of history! . . . 

Presumably Lord Halifax did not know then of the 
torture prison in Barcelona (even if our Secret Service had 
reported it to the Foreign Office, it might well have 
escaped his attention in the press of events), and he could 
not have known that the prisoners confined there would 
be taken by the Republicans toward the French frontier 
as hostages, and that at Pont des Molins on February 7th 
the Republicans would shoot the Bishop of Teruel and 
forty-one other elderly men, innocent of any crime except 

In the sight of God the life of a bishop is doubtless no 
more than that of a butcher, but to us his liquidation can- 


not but seem more dramatic: it serves once again to re- 
mind us of our extraordinary tenderness toward the 
regimes of the Left, especially as his murder is only one 
of a round dozen of Spanish bishops. When the Jews in 
Germany had their shops looted and synagogues burned, 
our condemnation was loud and bitter, but the atrocities 
of the anti-Fascist seem to arouse no general indignation. 
"The Bishop and those who were shot with him," we 
read in The Times of March 6th, 1939, "formed part of 
some 800 Nationalist prisoners who left Barcelona as Gen- 
eral Franco's forces advanced on the city. After forced 
marches towards the French frontier with little rest, and 
after being cruelly treated by their military escort, many 
of the aged and infirm fell exhausted. On reaching a 
point about fifty miles from the French frontier, one of 
the Republican leaders was in favor of shooting them all. 
Eventually they passed Figueras and reached the small vil- 
lage of Pont des Molins. France was only ten miles away. 
Here the order was given that all men over fifty years of 
age were to stand aside from the marching column of 
prisoners, according to the evidence of a prisoner who 
was in the column. The Bishop of Teruel was included 
in those separated from the main body of prisoners. A 
shepherd heard the shots being fired, and the forty-two 
bodies were later found. With the Bishop perished a 
Canon of Teruel Cathedral, a Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Civil Guard, a Captain of the Legionaries, and Colonel 
Rey d'Ancourt. These were the only bodies which could 
be identified amongst the charred remains in the ravine 
where they were found." 

Yes, our advice to Franco will read strangely in the light 
of these events. 

"ff "fF ^fr 

On the Madrid front, near Quatro Vientos airdrome, I 



saw a captured Russian tank. Its crew was buried in a 
shallow mound nearby; bits of the officers' uniform were 
still lying about, and a hand protruded from the mound, 
with long nails. It is a grim business, fighting in a tank 
under the Spanish sun. You sit on a little leather saddle, 
huddled into a very cramped space, with machinery all 
about you and a periscope close to your eyes. When you 
shut the turret and start the motor, the temperature may 
already be above blood-heat. It will mount rapidly as you 
roar toward the firing-line. Sometimes a sliver of molten 
lead splashes through the armor. The noise is hideous, the 
air foul with fumes. Always the temperature mounts — to 
120 degrees Fahrenheit, to 150, to 180, to the limit of 
human endurance. 

The man in the machine is in a nasty position, but so 
also is the man in the trench. Only seasoned troops can 
face massed tanks advancing in echelons of ten (as they 
did at Brunete), firing two-inch shells and twin machine- 
guns simultaneously. Yet a story is told of a small camp 
follower of the Regulares who was so light that he could 
climb into olive-trees which would not have borne the 
weight of a full-grown man. Tanks would pass under 
him unsuspectingly, then he would jump down and throw 
a bottle of petrol, followed by an incendiary bomb. The 
Russian caterpillar tracks are of rubber, heavily greased. 
There would be an explosion, and a sheet of flame would 
flicker round the doomed machine. In this way he demol- 
ished Rve tanks during a fortnight's fighting. 

Moors are experts at these bottle-and-bomb tactics. In 
one battalion there was almost a mutiny when some anti- 
tank guns arrived; the Moors felt that the tanks were theirs; 
they didn't want them poached by outsiders! 

How long will nerves stand the strain of modern war? 
One would have thought that the effect was cumulative, 
but it is not. Among Spaniards there have been few 


cases of shell-shock. Being bombed or bombarded at long 
range is horrible, for one has no chance of hitting back, 
but even so a city continues its normal life under constant 

No one, however, gets accustomed to being killed or to 
going hungry; and air-power is especially efl[ective in dis- 
organizing the supply services, Vv^hether of a city or of an 
army. On the Ebro the Republicans were dislodged by 
the consummate skill with which General Franco and his 
Generals concentrated fire-power on a narrow sector and 
pierced it, thus turning the enemy's flank. There was 
severe hand-to-hand fighting, but only at the vital points. 
Once a break-through had occurred the Republicans were 
compelled to retreat, and were not sufficiently disciplined 
to keep their cohesion. In the north, on the contrary, 
there was practically no hand-to-hand fighting. Both sides 
were brave, or rather both the Nationalists and the Basque 
Separatists were, but owing to intensive fire-preparation 
the Basques were nearly always driven out of their posi- 
tions before the Nationalists advanced, especially in the 
Iron Belt, whose concrete lining made it a death-trap when 
hit by high explosive. 

At Brunete, which I visited a few days after the battle, 
the ruins of the village were still strewn with the discarded 
harness of war, including many Russian bayonets and 
French carbines, and piles of Czech ammunition. There 
were 45 prisoners in a house nearby, of whom 30 were 
French and 5 Czech. I saw also some British prisoners. 
(One of them said: "My name is Levi. I'm a Canadian!") 
On my . return to Salamanca I met a French representa- 
tive of Le Journal, who told me that 15,000 Frenchmen 
had already fallen in the Communist cause. So far no 
official figures have been published of foreign intervention, 
but there is no reason whatever to suppose that there have 


been more Germans and Italians in Spain than there were 
French, Czechs, and other "anti-Fascists." (I deal with this 
question below.) 

# # «: 

And so back to Salamanca. Two Moors, in white cloaks, 
tall, impressive, with white-gloved hands crossed upon their 
rifles, guarded the turn of the staircase that led to Franco's 

It was a big, comfortable room, but probably indicative 
of the taste of its owner, a Bishop, rather than that of the 
Generalissimo. A long table carried Michelin Guide 
maps of the war fronts. Franco led us away from these 
(I went with two companions) and said something agree- 
able to my friends. To me he talked of the film 
"Lives of a Bengal Lancer," which he told me he had 

He was very courteous, but grave now. (And no wonder. 
A battle was in progress. He was governing half Spain, 
and commanding three armies.) I could see why he had 
been called "El Serio" in his youth. But his brown eyes 
had not lost their glitter, nor his walk its buoyancy. We 
spoke in French. 

You will have seen for yourselves [he said] the trail of havoc and 
misery that our enemies have left behind them. I hope you have also 
seen something of our work of reconstruction. You ask about the 
future. Of course, you will understand that this is no time to talk of 
Utopias. However, one thing I can tell you definitely. We shall not 
return to the Parliamentary system. It may be good for other coun- 
tries, but for us it has been an unmitigated curse, opening the door 
to class hatred and foreign intrigue. Our system will be based on 
Portuguese or Italian models, although we shall preserve our historic 
institutions in so far as they may contribute towards our nationality 
and our unity. The regime will not be of a particularly military 
character. Those of us who have lived in contact with the working 
classes, and slept with soldiers on the hard ground, know the needs 
of the people better than do the old-fashioned politicians. 


We shall allow no parasites. Every Spaniard will have to work 
according to his capacity. The laborer is worthy of his hire, and will 
receive an absolute guarantee that he will not be a slave to capitalism, 
provided that he does not adopt the methods of class war, which 
make collaboration impossible. We are fighting for a State which 
will be like one great family, without overlords or serfs, plutocrats 
or proletarians, and in which all the elements that go to make the 
national wealth will be represented. 

It is a great task, this building of a New Spain, but before it can 
be accomplished, we must finish the war. We should have finished it 
long ago, I must tell you, if it had not been for the 36,000 foreigners 
in the International Brigade at Madrid. We have had a stern fight, 
and it is not over yet, but I know that nothing great can come to 
birth without a struggle. I wish your country were more whole- 
heartedly on our side. You English are kind to animals. It sometimes 
surprises me that your hearts do not go out more fully to our people 
in the sufferings they have endured. 

Was there a trace of sarcasm, I wondered, in the Gen- 
eralissimo's reference to our kindness .^^ 

I asked him what was the most useful thing I could 
write about Nationalist Spain when I returned to England. 

"Facts," he answered. "I am told that you have seen 
something of Spain. Write the things which you have 
seen. Then England may understand what we are fight- 
ing for. It is quite simple." 

Simple, and impressive, I thought as I left him; remem- 
bering the Voice that commanded the author of Revelation 
to "write the things which thou hast seen. . . ." 

Before meeting Franco I had searched Salamanca for 
a good photograph, that I might ask him to sign it. It 
was unobtainable. I found an engraving but no large photo- 
graph. The shops of the capital were full of fervid Fiihrers 
and declamatory Duces, but the Generalissimo of the 
Nationalist Armies appeared chiefly on a picture post-card, 

M. ^ J^ 


It is sometimes said that the neglect and wickedness of 
past generations of Spaniards led to the Civil War. This 


is a half truth. Grave abuses there were. Two-thirds of the 
land of Spain belonged to 2 per cent of the people. There 
were 2,000,000 landless peasants in the South. Landlords 
neglected the peasantry. Corruption was general. Some 
priests were idle, and some were evil, but the Catholic 
Church in Spain as a whole was admitted — even by its 
adversaries, when they were honest — to have done more 
than the Government in the education of the poor. Doubt- 
less Communism would never have flourished if Spain had 
been well governed, but the crimes committed during the 
last three years were not individual acts of anger; the 
majority can be proved to have been planned and organ- 
ized by a scientific application of Terror. 

Let us be clear on this point. I do not say that there 
were not sincere Liberals and good Christians on the Re- 
publican side; still less that there were not many injustices 
which should have been put right. But the influence of 
Communism, acting through the Popular Front, was not 
to remedy wrongs; its influence only produced chaos and 
cruelties without parallel except in other Communist revo- 

As long ago as 1920, at the Second Congress of the 
Comintern, Lenin declared that "the second successful 
Proletarian Revolution, with the help of the armed Pro- 
letariat, will occur in the Peninsula." In 1921 a Com- 
munist, Ramon Casanellas, murdered the Prime Minister, 
Don Eduardo Dato, but escaped to Russia, where he found 
service in the Soviet Army. 

It was after the fall of the Monarchy, however, in 193 1, 
that Communist penetration began in earnest. In that year 
El Mundo Obrero was started in Madrid, with Commu- 
nist support, and quickly reached a circulation of 35,000 

"The new Republican Government," Miss Godden tells 


us in her admirable book Conflict in Spain,* "was not a 
month old when it showed its characteristic inability to 
restrain violent attacks on religion and on property." On 
May 10, 1931, the Jesuit Church of the Calle de la Flor 
in Madrid was burnt, also the Convent and Church of 
the Carmelite Fathers in the Plaza de Espafia, and the 
College of the Sacred Heart in Chamartin. All over Spain 
riots and incendiarism began. 

Dr. Gregorio Maranon, the famous Spanish scientist 
whom I have already quoted, writes of this time: 

I remember that a few days before the burning of the convents in 
May, 1 93 1, I was strolling in the evening behind three people who 
were talking politics in a loud voice. They were Communists, and the 
note of confidence and the hope they expressed would have impressed 
me if I had not been so thoroughly convinced that the national ideol- 
ogy was resistant to Bolshevik tactics. The day of the fires convinced 
me that I was wrong. The propaganda, though underground, had 
been enormous, though the actual number of adherents to Com- 
munism was very small. At the first general elections only two or 
three of their deputies were returned — how many times we were told 
this to calm our fears! — but the three hundred columns of smoke 
which ascended to heaven in all the towns of Spain on the same 
day and at about the same hour, under conditions of peace and with 
no provocation in any way commensurate with such a barbarous 
retort, all this carried out with a technical skill quite unknown to 
the Spanish people, demonstrated that the foreign organization existed 
and was impetuously making its first attacks.f 

In eight months there were four Governments in Spain, 
and none of them governed, owing largely to the hidden 
but powerful influence of the Communist Party, which 

* Conflict in Spain, by G. M. Godden. Burns Gates and Washbournc, 1938. 
This monograph, and Professor E. Allison Peers' The Spanish Tragedy, igjo- 
igj6 (Methuen, 1936), give the facts of the situation in clear and impartial 
form. Reading Professor Peers' book, one is impressed by the talent and 
energy expended in sterile debates in the Cortes, and one feels that perhaps 
only the physical clash of doctrines could lead to a lasting peace in Spain. 

t Liberalism and Communism, by Dr. G, Maranon. Spanish Press Service, 
London, 1937. 


numbered at this time 12,000 members.* On New Year's 
Day, 1932, four policemen in the little village of Castil- 
blanco were brutally murdered, their heads being bashed 
in and their eyes gouged out. On January 9th the Comin- 
tern sent ;C50,ooo to Spain. In March a Communist Con- 
gress met at Seville. (Among others who attended was 
the murderer Ramon Casanellas.) The Church of San 
Nicolas in Granada was burned in August. In the autumn 
a procession of the Blessed Sacrament at Cagollo de Veja 
was fired upon: a woman was killed and seven people 
wounded. Experts in Moscow noted that "the mass move- 
ment is seething, and showing tendencies to develop into 
an armed revolt of the people."t 

After two years of Left-Wing Government (under Senor 
Azana, then Prime Minister, and lately President of the 
Republic) new elections were held, in November, 1933, 
and resulted in a victory for the parties of the Right. This 
was a temporary set-back to the Communists, and their 
displeasure was marked by a rising tempo in violence. All 
the familiar symptoms, which we have studied in other 
countries, manifested themselves in Spain: burnings, bomb- 
ings, strikes, and murders, accompanied, as usual, by sexual 
propaganda among the young. Professor Peers tells us 
that "pornographic literature was prominently featured in 
kiosks and bookshops, and, with Marxist literature, was 
sold outside the very entrances of the churches." 

In October, 1934, quite suddenly (to the Spanish public, 

* Less than the membership of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 
which was 16,000 in 1938. 

t "Smoldering" would be a more accurate verb than "seething." The 
idea of burning is always associated with Communism. It figures in Weis- 
haupt, the father of lUuminism, and was popular with the French Terrorists 
of the Revolution, and revived by the Nihilists. The Generals of the Com- 
mune, Brunei and Bergeret, set fire to the center of Paris. In Spain we 
have seen that the retreating Republicans left always flaming ruins in their 


but not to directors of the class war in Moscow) revolu- 
tion broke out in Barcelona and in Oviedo. Seventy cases 
of ammunition were landed in Bilbao, from Russia. Sub- 
scriptions raised by "voluntary levies for the Spanish 
workers" in the Soviet Union amounted to ;r400,ooo. In 
London the Daily Herald announced (two days before the 
revolt began) that Senor Gil Robles was planning a Fascist 
coup d'etat. When the outbreak occurred it was described, 
in the usual way, as the defense of democracy against 

In Barcelona, Senor Companys proclaimed a Catalan 
Republic. (It is believed that Communists threatened to 
shoot him unless he did so.) The revolt was quickly 
suppressed, and both Senor Companys and Senor Azana, 
who was in Barcelona at the time, were arrested. 

In the north events took a graver turn. The storm- 
center of revolution was Oviedo, where the Cathedral, the 
University, and other buildings were burned. The rebels 
were fully armed, and provided with tanks, machine-guns, 
armored cars, and large quantities of dynamite.f They 
stole ;^300,ooo from the Bank of Spain in Oviedo, set fire 
to 730 buildings, and wrecked whole streets. Among the 
many victims were 27 preists, of whom one was burned 
alive. The total casualties (including those on the Com- 
munist side) were 1,335 persons killed and 2,951 wounded. 
Weapons taken from the insurgents included 89,000 rifles 
and 33,000 pistols. 

* At this time the Government was a coalition between the Radicals under 
Senor Lerroux and Accion Popular under Seiior Gil Robles. The latter, far 
from being a Fascist, held views at least as moderate as those of Lord 
Baldwin. The extremist organizations of the Left, which openly supported 
Communism, were {a) the Socialists, or U.G.T. (Union General de Trabaja- 
dores) {b) the Sjmdicalists, or C.N.T. (Confederacion Nacional de Traba- 
jadores) and (c) the Anarchists, or F.A.L (Federacion Anarquista Iberica). 
In the Cortes the Right and Center Parties had 374 seats, the Left 99. 

■\The Spanish Tragedy, igjo-igj6, by E. Allison Peers. Methuen, 1936, 


This revolution, against a lawfully constituted Govern- 
ment with a Right majority of 275 members in the Cortes, 
met with no reprobation from the Left-Wing Press in 
England, or from the duped public of the United States. 
Senores Azana and Largo Caballero were heroes in 1934 
resisting Fascist oppression. Not so General Franco, who 
had the temerity to resist a Left- Wing "Government": he 
was a rebel deserving death. 

Shortly before the Asturias rising, in 1933, M. Yvon 
Delbos, then French Foreign Minister, wrote of a visit to 
Moscow: "Special rooms are devoted to the future Spanish 
Communist Revolution, displaying posters of newspapers, 
portraits of Castilian Bolsheviks, scenes of riot, arson, bar- 
ricades, executions. ... It seems that the Soviets reckon 
upon achieving success amongst our friends on the other 
side of the Pyrenees. These rooms breathe a strange at- 
mosphere of faith and fanaticism, and seem to reek with 
the smell of blood. They are not a place where one 
can learn to love one's fellow-men. This obsession of vio- 
lence, stigmatized in the enemy, but extolled when put 
to the service of the Revolution, is one of the essential 
features of Bolshevism." 

Yes, blood, and burning, but always, of course, in de- 
fense of democracy! 

For two months Spain was under martial law. All the 
forces of the Left — Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists 
— now united in a Popular Front, which rose to a strength 
of 2,000,000 members. In June, 1935, Senor Jesus Hernan- 
dez, the then Minister for Education, reported that the 
Popular Front had been organized "in a thousand differ- 
ent forms," and that "the driving force behind this whole 
movement is the Communist Party, which, working ille- 
gally, has managed to imbue the broad masses with the 
idea of civil war based on class war." 


Nothing could be clearer. New elections were held on 
February i6th, 1936, amid general excitement. In some 
places the Communists broke the voting urns (notably at 
Valencia and Cuenca) and declared that their candidates 
were elected irrespective of the voting; but even so the 
result was not such as to justify the idea, still held abroad, 
that the people of Spain had given a mandate to the 
parties of the Left. The figures were: 

Popular Front, 4,356,000 votes carrying 270 seats in the Cortes. 
Right Parties, 4,570,000 " " 140 " " " 

Centre Party, 340,000 " " 60 " " " 

Owing to the complicated electoral system in Spain, the 
Popular Front obtained a majority in the Cortes far in 
excess of its strength in the country. Not content with 
this, its supporters acted (and instantly) as if they were 
already the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Prisons were 
opened. Funds were collected for an armed Red Militia. 
"L'Internationale" was sung in the Cortes by deputies 
who raised clenched fists in salute to Moscow. The burn- 
ing of churches began again; one of the first to suffer was 
the famous shrine of Santa Maria at Elche, where the 
figures, jewels, and lovely embroideries of the famous 
Mystery Play were destroyed. Without waiting for an Act 
of Parliament, the peasants in the south appropriated 
lands to which, it must be admitted, they had rights in 
equity. In April thirty young Spaniards who had been 
trained in the Revolutionary School in Moscow entrained 
for Barcelona, with flowers and hampers and stacks of 
revolutionary literature from the Comintern. In April, also, 
the Daily Worker of London declared that "news from 
Spain gets bigger and better. . . . Nothing like it has been 
seen in Western Europe." 

In June, General Francisco Franco, who had heard that 
President Azana contemplated a "democratization" of the 


army, warned the Government (from his virtual exile in 
the Canary Islands) that the existing state of disorder 
vv^ould gravely prejudice the discipline of the armed forces 
of the Republic. 

On July 8th, 1936, Senor Calvo Sotelo, an ex-Finance 
Minister, and one of the most respected of the Right- 
Wing leaders, read out to the Cortes an account of the 
anarchy prevailing under the Popular Front. The figures 
he gave look insignificant w^hen compared v^^ith later mas- 
sacres, but can perhaps be more readily grasped by Eng- 
lish people. (We might consider v^hat v^e w^ould think 
of a Government that tolerated such crimes in this coun- 
try, v^ithout being able to bring the offenders to justice.) 
From February to July — Ryc months — 160 churches and 79 
other buildings had been completely destroyed, 269 people 
had been killed, and 1,287 wounded. "You have made 
your last speech!" cried the Communist v^oman fury 
known as La Pasionaria. She may have known what was 
to happen. 

Five days later, on July 13th, 1936, at 3 a.m., Senor 
Sotelo was roused by police knocking at the door of his 
house in Madrid. Rising, he found a police van outside 
and an officer with a warrant for his arrest. Having satis- 
fied himself of the bo72a fides of the officer, he consented 
to accompany him, believing, it is supposed, that he would 
be taken into "protective custody." He was driven out to 
the suburbs and shot in the breast and right eye; the body 
was then left at the East Cemetery. 

Later in the day the caretaker at the mortuary rang up 
police headquarters to say that some detectives had left 
a body with him which they said had been found in the 
streets. It was soon identified as the corpse of Calvo 

All Spain was horrified, for, although murders had be- 


come common, they had been murders chiefly of priests 
and other humble Christians. This was as if Scotland Yard 
had kidnaped one of our leading politicians and done 
him to death. Nobody felt secure. 

On the night of June 17th news came of the mutiny of 
a number of regiments in Spanish Morocco. "Nobody, ab- 
solutely nobody on the mainland has joined this absurd 
revolt." So said the Prime Minister. But next morning, 
Saturday, June i8th, the public learned of the wide extent 
of the rising. General Sanjurjo, leader of a previous putsch 
(on August loth, 1932), had crashed in an airplane 
on his way to Spain from Lisbon, and was burned 
to death; but other well-known generals, hitherto loyal 
to the republic, such as Queipo de Llano in Seville, 
Mola, the late Director-General of Police in Saragossa, 
and the veteran Cabanellas, had thrown in their lot with 
Franco, who arrived in Tetuan on the early morning of 
July 19th. 

In Madrid there were three Ministries in twenty-four 
hours. (During the fifty-seven months of the republic 
there had been twenty-eight so-called Governments.) 
While vapid politicians debated in the capital. Commu- 
nism had taken control in the country. "The Government 
does not exist," said Senor Andres Nin.* "We are col- 
laborating with it, but it can do no more than sanction 
what is done by the masses." 

The army in Spain has taken part in many pronuncia- 
tnentos, and could hardly be blamed by any reasonable 
Christian for making an attempt to end the prevailing 
anarchy; but, as a matter of fact, the generals concerned 
in the revolt appear to have acted in haste and with little 
preparation. (Facts supporting this view will be found 
below.) But if there was an army plot, it is also unde- 

* A Communist leader of Barcelona, afterwards liquidated as a Trotskyist. 


niable that a Communist conspiracy had long been brew- 
ing. As we have seen, trained revolutionaries arrived from 
Moscow in March, 1936. In April, Seiior Largo Caballero 
gave his public approval to the Comintern program of 
an armed rising of the Proletariat. The arms were there, 
and the men to use them, and carefully prepared plans 
for the seizure of power. 

Some of these plans have fallen into the hands of the 
Nationalists. That for Madrid, issued as "Confidential Re- 
port No. 3," in April, 1936, provided for fifty groups of 
ten men each. The signal for the rising was to be the 
bursting of five bombs at nightfall, whereupon a simulated 
Fascist attack on Socialist headquarters was to be staged 
and a general strike declared. A special group of machine- 
gunners and bombers were to attack the Ministry of the 
Interior along named streets. Other groups would seize 
the Prime Minister's office, die Ministry of War, the G.P.O., 
and police headquarters. No. 25 group, composed of Com- 
munist sympathizers in the police, was intrusted with the 
task of eliminating counter-revolutionary politicians and 

We have seen this technique of the coup d'etat in action 
elsewhere. At the risk of otiosity, I quote from a docu- 
ment published by the Jornal do Commercio of Rio de 
Janeiro on September 30th, 1937, for it describes in some 
detail what happened in most cities in Spain: 

It is essential to avoid useless and incomplete violence, and to 
study carefully the type of violence which is most profitable. It is 
individual initiative which originally produces revolution and makes 
for its success, because the actors realize that only victory can secure 
immunity from punishment. Violence should be committed on an 
agreed plan, and devoid of all sentiment which does not help the 
revolutionary ideal. The executive revolutionaries must be precisely 
trained down to the minutest detail, especially those who will have 
to work among the soldiers in barracks and among the sailors on 


A trained revolutionary must be ready to eliminate and replace 
every officer who is not a revolutionary himself. The same procedure 
is to be adopted in accounting for non-revolutionary sergeants who 
enjoy prestige amongst the troops. 

The essential character of a successful strike is that it be prepared 
in secret and be delivered with rapidity and violence. 

The corps of incendiaries has the special duty of starting fires in 
various quarters of the town by concerted action, so that fire brigades 
and other Government agents detailed to fight outbreaks of fire may 
be divided and the consequent confusion increased. 

Useful incendiarism demands an element of audacity and surprise. 
Two or three men disguised as clerks or other commercial agents, 
appropriate to the building, carrying inflammable substances, will 
enter, and while one distracts the attention of the hall porter, another 
will pour the petrol or place his fuses on the floor in such a manner 
that he is not perceived, and then yet another comrade will pass and 
drop a lighted match. In the confusion and alarm caused by the 
fire, escape will be easy. 

The people who will spontaneously throng the streets must be 
controlled so as to obtain the following results: 

(a) In the centre of the town: popular manifestations and organized 
acts of violence; the masses will be guided to attack the headquarters 
of counter-revolutionary newspapers. 

(b) In the aristocratic and plutocratic quarters the masses must 
be led to commit pillage and violence. No detail must be omitted to 
inflame the passions of the people. This super-excited state must be 
directed in a frankly sexual manner in order to enlist the sympathies 
of the masses more easily. They must be convinced that all signs of 
luxury, fine houses, luxurious motor cars, well-dressed women, etc., 
are an insult to the misery of the people, whose hour has arrived, 
and who can, at last, seize all they want without fear of retribution 
from the forces of the State. 

(c) All prisons must be thrown open and the inmates released 
without distinction. 

(d) Foreign Embassies, Legations, and their staffs must be strictly 

How far the insurgent generals were unprepared can 
be gauged by what happened at Las Palmas, Seville, 
Madrid, Malaga, and Barcelona. 

I am not in General Franco's confidence, and do not 
pretend to know what was in his mind when an airplane 
arrived for him at Las Palmas, sent by Spaniards in Eng- 


land, but I have met some of these Spaniards, and know 
that they were working under conditions of desperate 
haste and great uncertainty. It would be fair to describe 
them as bewildered by the chaos descending on Spain, 
and determined to save their country from Communism, 
but uncertain to whom to turn. My impression is that 
General Franco did not throw in his lot with them until 
Senor Casares Quiroga, the then Prime Minister, ignored 
his warning letter of June 23rd, 1936. It is possible that 
Franco had discussed a pronunciamento with General San- 
jurjo, the potential leader of the revolt, who had visited 
Germany in February, 1936, and had sent emissaries to 
Rome. Indeed, it is likely, but I believe that Franco held 
his hand until he saw that nothing but a military insur- 
rection could save Spain. 

From the course of events it is clear that the Generals 
concerned hoped to be able to establish an orderly Gov- 
ernment, on Primo de Rivera's model, without serious 
violence. The extent of foreign intervention on the part 
of Russia, who had organized Communist cells in all the 
big towns,* took them by surprise. 

The Englishman who was charged by the above-men- 
tioned Spaniards with delivering an airplane in the Ca- 
nary Islands was told that he must consign it only to 
a person in possession of a certain password. A Staff 
officer came to claim the machine, but was ignorant of 
the password. He had to return to his headquarters to 
obtain it. Eventually General Franco left in the greatest 
haste, and when he arrived in Tetuan he discovered that 
a large part of the navy had declared for the Government, 

* "Friends of the Soviet Union" and "International Red Help" had branches 
at Vigo, Corunna, Oviedo, Leon, Santander, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Legrono, 
Saragossa, Valladolid, Segovia, Madrid, Toledo, Cordova, Jaen, Seville, Cadiz, 
Malaga, Almeria, Cartagena, Murchia, Elche, Alicante, Valencia, Ibiza, and 


so that it would be difficult to transport troops from 

In Seville, General Queipo de Llano arrived on the 
morning of July i8th from Huelva. At the Hotel Simon 
he met a bull-lighter friend, Pepe el Algabeno, v^ho v^as 
the leader of a local group of Phalangists, and w^ho had 
promised him 1,500 men from the surrounding districts. 
(Most of these men arrived too late for that crucial night's 
fighting.) "Shall I v^arn my crovi^d?" asked Pepe. "Cer- 
tainly," said Queipo. "I am going to have lunch, in case 
things go wrong. Then I shall put on my uniform and 
go to headquarters." 

Pepe went to gather his stalwarts, and Major Remen- 
teria and Air Captain Carillo arrived. They told him that 
in the whole garrison of Seville, besides Major Cuesta, 
of the Divisional Staff, there were "only a few captains 
and a lieutenant here and there" on whom they could 
rely. Queipo, be it noted, had not previously spoken to 
any of these officers, except Rementeria and Cuesta. 

Truly it was an audacious undertaking to capture this 
city, with its sixty thousand Communist supporters, mostly 
armed, in face of a presumably hostile civil and military 
administration! "I was aware of the magnitude of the 
task," the General said later, "but was prepared to see it 
through or perish in the attempt. I had seen the turn 
things were taking in Madrid ... it seemed to me daily 
more dangerous merely to be seen walking in the street. 
I felt sure I should be one of the first victims of the mob 
when it did break loose." 

Having put on his uniform (like an English officer, 
Queipo dresses in plain clothes whenever possible), he went 
to Divisional Headquarters with his A.D.C., and was 
shown into the office, where the General Officer Com- 
manding the Division, General Villa Abrille, was discuss- 


ing the situation with General Lopez Viota and a group 
of officers which included Major Cuesta. The scene can 
best be told in Queipo de Llano's own words: 

General Villa Abrille was an old friend of mine, but I had not 
come away with a very favourable impression on the last two occa- 
sions I had seen him. Though he pretended to be a great friend of 
Labour, he was not really interested in the welfare of the workers; 
they in their turn, so I gathered from what he told me, treated him 
with the grossest contempt, which he put up with meekly, in the 
hope, no doubt, of saving his skin when the final outbreak came. 
When he saw me come across the patio dressed in uniform, he was 
surprised and said: 

"What are you doing here, Gonzalo?" 

"I have come to tell you that it's time for you to make up your 
mind; you must choose between your brother officers or that Govern- 
ment of yours which is ruining the country." 

"I shall always be on the side of the Government." 

"Well, I have orders to blow your brains out. But, as I am a 
friend of yours, I don't want to go to extremes, for I hope you will 
see your mistake." 

"I can only repeat, I am on the side of the Government." 

"Then I shall have either to shoot you or lock you up. So I'll lock 
you up. Go into your room." 

"Very good, I'll go; but" — turning to the others — "I would have 
you remark, gentlemen, that I do so perforce." 

"Yes, perforce, but do it all the same," I said, pushing him gently 
towards the room, which he entered after turning round several times 
and protesting he was being forced. 

I must admit he acted wisely, for I was determined to shoot him 
down at the slightest sign of resistance. 

The whole group followed us to his room. When I again bade him 
reconsider his attitude, and he refused, I told him he should regard 
himself as my prisoner. Thereupon General Lopez Viota said: 

"I also wish to be taken prisoner." 

"Very well," I said, "you shall be." 

"I, too," said Staff Major Hidalgo. 

"You, too," I said. 

All of the group followed suit except, of course, Cuesta. I tore 
down the telephone wires, and was about to lock the door, when I 
found there was no key! Thereupon I had a corporal of the guard 
come with two men, and ordered them to shoot if anyone should 
attempt to escape; and those young soldiers, who but a moment before 


would have obeyed General Villa Abrille's orders, became his gaolers, 
ready to do as I had told them. They earned their country's gratitude. 

Cuesta then told me I must go and address the soldiers of the 
Granada Regiment, whose barracks were nearby; so, whilst Cuesta 
stayed behind to draw up the Proclamation of Martial Law, Lopez- 
Guerrero (the General's A.D.C.) and I went over. 

Colonel Allanegui had won a good reputation in the Moroccan 
campaigns, and I had been told we could rely on his support. My 
surprise may be imagined when I found him in an attitude that from 
the start seemed strange. The guard was drawn up under arms. Were 
they waiting for me? If so, why, instead of coming forward to receive 
me, did he remain standing with his lieutenant-colonel, Major Perez, 
and the other officers at the far end of the square where the guard 
was drawn up? 

I went up to him and said, as I didn't know him: "I have come to 
shake hands with you and congratulate you on taking your stand 
with your brother officers when the fate of the army and the country 
is at stake." 

"I am prepared to support the Government and take orders only 
from General Villa Abrille," he answered curtly. 

Assuming an air of calmness, I said: "Shall we continue our 
conversation over there?" and we all went into a little room built 
out on to the barrack square. 

It was so small it would only hold the Colonel, Lieutenant-colonel, 
Major, and a couple of Captains, in addition to Lopez-Guerrero and 
myself, so that the others stood outside in the doorway and on 
the steps. 

"So that in spite of the way the army and the country is being 
treated by the Government, you take its side, do you?" I said. 

"I do," he answered. 

"Then I shall have to deprive you of your command. Lieutenant- 
colonel, take command of the regiment!" 

"I follow my Colonel," he said. 

"Major, take command of the regiment!" 

"I follow my Colonel," he also said. 

"Who will take over the regiment?" I asked, turning to the Cap- 
tains present, only to obtain the same reply. 

Then I told Lopez-Guerrero to go and fetch Major Cuesta. Mean- 
while I remained alone with the group of hostile officers. The painful 
silence was broken after a while by Major Perez, who with tears in 
his eyes said that they all felt as we did, but that they couldn't forget 
the sufferings they had been subjected to after the failure of the 
rising on August loth, 1932, and were afraid lest the same thing 
should happen. 


"There can be no question of that," I answered; "here it's a question 
of victory or death in a very short time, and it's better to die than to 
Hve in shame." 

At that moment Cuesta came in, and I said to him: "Didn't you 
tell me that Colonel AUanegui and his regiment would be on 
our side?" 

Cuesta then spoke to them, but again in vain. I was thinking I 
should have to use my pistol, when, turning to the officers outside, I 
asked them: "Is none of you capable of forming up the men?" No 
one answered, but one captain, Fernandez de Cordoba smiled. "Can 
you do it?" I asked him. "Yes, sir!" he replied. "Then have the bugle 
sound 'Fall in!'" I told him. 

Colonel AUanegui then took a step towards the door. I caught 
him by the arm and asked him roughly: "Where are you ofl to?" 
"To harangue my men," he said. "You don't stir from here," I 
answered. He put his hand on his pistol, saying, "You force m.e to 
use violence." I seized him strongly by the wrist, and, putting my 
other hand into my coat pocket, where I had my pistol at the ready, 
I thundered at him: "Do you think I am not prepared for every 
violence?" Then, just as I was about to shoot him through the head, 
I had a divine inspiration and, lowering my pistol, I shouted: "All 
of you are prisoners! Follow me!" 

They marched out behind me, past the guard and up the street 
into Headquarters, where I had them shut up with the others, all 
except Major Perez, who, on referring again to the humiliations 
suffered in 1932, and being assured by me there was no ground for 
fearing them, went back at my order and took command of the 

After giving strict orders for a close watch to be kept over the 
prisoners, I returned to the barrack square, where I found to my 
surprise only 130 men formed up. When I was told there were no 
more I could hardly believe my ears. As Inspector-General of Cara- 
bineers I had lived so much apart from the army that I hadn't realized 
the v/retched state to which it had been reduced. Our labour of years 
in eradicating nepotism had been undone; the commands placed in 
the abject hands of hirelings; people convicted of larceny, theft, and 
baser crimes readmitted to the profession; and the ranks reduced to a 
scale that made regiments veritable skeletons. 

Making an effort to conceal my dismay, I strode up to the ranks. 
The troops had to be inflamed and, to tell the truth, my words 
inflamed them.. By the time I had finished those troops were mine, 
heart and soul. Their cheers pealed out like thunder. 

There was not a moment to be lost. The Communists 


had already put diree armored cars on die streets. At 
any moment they might seize the Arsenal and Treasury. 
Queipo de Llano ordered a captain to march out with a 
hundred men and proclaim martial law. He posted a light 
gun at a street corner, with orders to fire at any armored 
car that passed. At the first shot the occupants of one 
of these cars took to their heels. The other two soon fell 
into the hands of the insurgents. Sixty men were sent 
to seize the Arsenal, which contained 25,000 rifles and 
8,000 carbines. Being Saturday afternoon, the munitions 
workers were absent, and the place surrendered without 
a struggle. The Town Hall, telephone building, and Gov- 
ernment House resisted only until a battery of artillery 
began to fire upon them. By nightfall Queipo was master 
of Seville. 

Fighting lasted another three days, but a man who 
could arrest the Staff Division by sheer force of person- 
ality was not likely to be baffled by the problems which 

Radio Seville, two miles outside the city, had fallen 
into his hands early on Saturday afternoon. When the 
telephone was cut, he arranged to broadcast. From that 
Saturday night, for a period of eighteen months, Queipo 
de Llano's voice resounded through Spain and the Span- 
ish-speaking world. 

In Saragossa and Pamplona the army supported the 
coup d'etat. Spanish Morocco, Cadiz, and Algeciras were 
in Franco's hands, and he was succeeding, although 
slowly, in transferring Legionaries and Moors to the 
mainland by air. In the naval centers of Ferrol, Vigo, 
and Cartagena a very confused situation existed, the 
navy being divided in its allegiance. Some of the crews 
imprisoned their officers and afterwards crucified them 


on the quarter-deck.* Others went over calmly to the 

In Madrid fighting began in the streets on Saturday, 
July i8th. By Sunday night parts of the city were in 
flames, and Communists drove about in commandeered 
cars, giving the clenched fist salute. The Montana Bar- 
racks declared for Franco, but were bombarded by Gov- 
ernment artillery and surrendered in a few hours. Gen- 
eral Fanjul, in command, was taken prisoner and shot. 
In Malaga the Military Governor hesitated, first siding 
with the insurgents and then the Government. The Com- 
munists, who soon took charge there, tied him to the tail 
of a mule and dragged him through the streets before 
killing him. In Barcelona, to which General Goded flew 
from Majorca, the two factions fought for three days. 
Eventually General Goded surrendered, and was shot by 
the Republicans. 

General Franco's position on Monday morning, July 
20th, was by no means promising. Indeed, it was des- 
perate, but there was no drawing back. He held Vigo 
and Corunna in the northwest and a strip of country 
across to Saragossa in the east, with salients down to 
Caceres and Teruel, but to the north lay the two Basque 

* The following is the translation of part of a poem published in the 
Ministry of Public Instruction's Romancero de la Guerra Civil, in Madrid, 
to commemorate the mutiny: 

Purged of its traitors now 

On the Mediterranean sea 

The good ship Jaime sails: 

The people set her free! 

Her traitor officers 

Are swallowed by the waves, 

Her gold-sleeved Admiral 

His day of rule is past: 

To-day the sailor rules. 

The man who climbs the mast! 


Provinces, with their munitions factories and mineral 
wealth. All the central and eastern regions were held by 
the Government, with the treasuries and arsenals in 
Madrid and Barcelona. In the south he had Spanish 
Morocco, Algeciras, Cadiz, and a narrow strip leading up 
Seville and Cordoba, with an isolated patch at Granada. 
Nothing else. Nothing except his reputation and his faith. 
The Government controlled all the institutions of author- 
ity, such as they were (including of course the War 
Office), the ^150,000,000 of gold in the Bank of Spain, 
the police administration, the most important industrial 
centers, three-quarters of the coast-line of Spain, and nine- 
tenths of the navy.* 

Communism, with its insurrection in Greece, its pene- 
tration of France in the belly of the Trojan horse, under 
M. Blum's Popular Front Government, and its successes 
in Spain, seemed in 1936 to be in the ascendant. 

•n* tP tp 

I have a row of books on Spain and a suitcase crammed 
with newspaper cuttings which I shall now never use, as 
I once intended, for a connected story of the struggle. 
Within the limits of this chapter we cannot examine the 
strategy of General Franco, whose brilliant operations will 
be studied by War Colleges for many years to come, not 
only because the story is too long, but also because the 
maneuvers of the Red Horse of Troy, both in the Penin- 

* The regular army, like the navy, was politically divided between the 
two camps. Its soldiers consisted of eighteen-year old recruits with six months' 
training. Officers and N.C.O.'s had been lately "purged" by the Government, 
so that most key positions were held by persons of Left-Wing view. The 
Tercio, or Foreign Legion of Spain, who followed Franco to a man, was a 
long-service body of seasoned veterans, nine-tenths of them Spanish. The 
Moors were — and are — officered chiefly by Spaniards, and contain ten per cent 
of Spanish noncommissioned officers. The Guardia Civil, or military police, 
were — and are — a magnificent body of men, highly paid and well-pensioned. 


sula and in England, are of chief importance to my 

General Franco said to me: "I ask nothing of England, 
except that you will try to understand what we are fight- 
ing for." 

Alas, that so few of us have done so! Our Press — I am 
afraid with the approval of our Foreign Office, but with 
the honorable exception of The Times — has minimized 
the massacres inspired by the Comintern, concealed the 
extent of intervention by France and Russia, and exag- 
gerated that by Italy and Germany. 

A distinguished American journalist, who had spent two 
months with the Spanish Government forces in Barce- 
lona and Madrid, told me in Salamanca that in the course 
of fifty years of travel, during which he had seen eight 
wars and a dozen revolutions, and met Chicago gang- 
sters, Mexican bandits, Chinese brigands, and all kinds of 
ruffians, he had never encountered such brutes in human 
form as the Spanish Anarchists. 

For Spaniards generally he had a great admiration. Even 
Largo Caballero he described as "a dear old gentleman." 
But the Anarchists, in his opinion, should be caged like 
wild beasts, or exterminated; and having read the works 
of their lunatic prophet, Bakunin, who desired "the 
reign of Anti-Christ, and the unchaining of all evil pas- 
sions," and seen something of Anarchism at work, I am 
inclined to agree with him; at least they should be kept 
under close supervision. I would add that the distinc- 
tion between Anarchists and Communists in Spain is 
largely academic. During the course of the war they 
have quarreled between themselves, but at its outset 
they were united in common desire for murder and 
Small wonder that the Republicans, driven to bay in 


Madrid, should have turned at last on the people who 
were the cause of all the suffering in Spain. Unfortunately 
the chief conspirators have all escaped, and are now 
doubtless ready to pursue their activities elsewhere, "help- 
ing democracy" wherever it is blind enough to give them 

I did not look for atrocities while I was in Spain; but it 
was impossible to avoid seeing the trail of Red terror and 
destruction. Distasteful as the subject is, it must be men- 
tioned here, for it was the sight of a lorry-load of cap- 
tive Communists at Antequera, on the way to Malaga, 
that determined me to write this book. 

At Antequera, in the mountains behind Malaga, Com- 
munists murdered seventy-eight persons between July i8th 
and August 12th, 1936. Some of them had been soaked 
in petrol and set alight, others mutilated and violated. 
"What will you do to these people?" I asked a garage- 
keeper, indicating the Communists in the lorry. "Noth- 
ing," was the answer. "They are mostly half-wits, and 
have been acquitted of the crimes which were committed 
here. They will soon settle down." But would they? I 
wondered. Rarely have I seen assembled so many cow- 
ardly, ugly, and vicious faces. 

If there were not brave men and good men fighting on 
both sides, with the Republicans as well as with the Na- 
tionalists, the Spanish Civil War would not have lasted 
as long as it has. But the idealists among the supporters 
of the Government have had no control over subhuman 
forces which they let loose when they opened the prisons 
and armed 30,000 criminals. 

In Malaga I met a girl who was waiting for the trial of 
six men who had killed her father with an ax, and had 
wounded her brother, and then finished him by soaking 


his head in petrol and setting it alight. They had soaked 
her clothes in petrol also, and wanted their pleasure of her, 
otherwise there was a lighted match. . . . She was mad 
with terror, and does not know to this day how she was 
saved by Franco's cavalry. 

There, before my eyes, were the men accused of having 
done these things. They too seemed half-wits. Could she 
have invented the story? It is a common story in this 
civil war, and it was corroborated in this case by the ser- 
geant who had rescued her. I do not know the result of 
that particular trial, but when I read that 16,000 priests 
have been murdered by the Popular Front in Spain and 
some 300,000 other innocent people, the majority shot 
without trial, and some fiendishly mutilated and tortured, 
the aspect of those prisoners in Malaga and Antequera 
comes to my mind. 

The things that have been done in Spain are unbeliev- 
able here in quiet England. But even in England we 
sometimes read of a brutal murder or of some horror 
perpetrated against a child. The culprit is quickly sen- 
tenced and passes from sight and mind. But he has 
existed. He exists. Others like him will no doubt be born. 
If we freed all our prisoners and withdrew all our police, 
what would England be like in a month's time? 

Have I said enough of this ruthless minority in Spain 
which has brought the land to ruin and committed so 
many crimes?* Only to-day (February 17th, 1939) I read 
in The Times that sixty members of a Communist bat- 
talion, escaped to France, have been arrested at Perpignan 
with their suitcases full of the jewels of their victims. 

* For documentation, see the First, Second and Third Reports on Com- 
munist Atrocities in Southern Spain, issued by the National Government at 
Burgos. Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1936 and 1937. 


Are these the people from whom we desire General 
Franco to give a general amnesty? 

We cannot forget them, but let us reflect that they are 
not typical Spaniards. Spaniards have a streak of cruelty 
in their nature, but also a splendid courage (you will see 
both qualities in a bull-fight), and in this war both sides 
have been ready to die magnificently for the faith that is 
in them, crying, "Long live the Brotherhood of the Prole- 
tariat!" or "Viva Cristo Rey!" 

^t, ^tf. jb 


Since 1931 the Comintern has been intervening in Spain. 
The French have been intervening since July, 1936, and 
the Germans and Italians since November or December of 
that year. We ourselves were not guiltless in 1937, when we 
protected food ships going into Bilbao. 

After General Franco had effected the junction between 
his northern and southern Armies, Madrid would have 
fallen to his Legionaries but for the presence of 15,000 
men of the International Brigade, recruited and armed 
chiefly in Paris and Prague, and sent to Spain through 
Catalonia. In November, 1936, there was no Italian infantry 
in Spain, and only a few airplanes with the Nationalist 
forces. Indeed, until the middle of 1937 the Russian air- 
planes of the Republicans were superior to any craft with 
Franco's forces. Even our Left-Wing newspapers have never 
attempted to deny that intervention first occurred on the 
French and Russian side to save Madrid. In fact, they 
boasted about it at first. 

When the French and British Governments proposed in 
August, 1936, that arms and war material should not be 
exported to either side in Spain, the Italian and German 
Governments urged that the prohibition should apply also 


to volunteers and to money. The British Government re- 
pHed, in shocked tones, that being a democratic country 
v^e could not prevent our citizens doing v^hat they liked. 
We have forgotten this. It is right that we should re- 
member. It W2LS not until February, 1937, that the pro- 
hibition of volunteers v^as decreed in London. True, it 
vi^as disregarded by both sides, but the first foreigners 
to intervene in the civil w^ar w^ere those assisting the 

Is it true, the reader may ask, that the Germans have had 
10,000 men in Spain and the Italians 100,000? I believe not. 
I believe it is a lie, but, like many other lies about Spain, it 
is difficult to nail to the counter. No army will publish its 
parade-states in the middle of a war. One day we shall 
arrive at the truth, and shall probably learn that there were 
approximately equal numbers on both sides, say 40,000 men 
when at their maximum. 

When I was in Salamanca in August, 1937, the Nation- 
alists gave me a written official answer to a question con- 
cerning intervention, which ran as follows: "We have under 
arms some 700,000 men, of whom about 4 per cent are for- 
eigners, or at most, in round numbers, some 30,000 com- 
batants." I shall be surprised if history does not confirm the 
correctness of this declaration. 

As regards munitions, intervention on both sides has 
been heavy. Up to the 31st July, 1938, the Nationalists 
had brought down 809 Russian airplanes and 139 French. 
Russian material captured included 84 tanks, 71 guns, 577 
heavy machine-guns, 35,912 rifles, 91,000 shells, 60,425,000 
rifle cartridges. French material captured included 24 
armored cars, 85 guns, 112 heavy machine-guns, 29,370 
rifles, 22,400 shells, 24,000,000 rifle cartridges. From 
Mexican sources came 11,250,000 rifle cartridges. Material 


emanating from Great Britain and the United States 
was small in amount, and doubtless reached Spain 

Since this date, and especially in the last Ebro offensive, 
enormous stores of artillery, machine-guns, rifles, ammuni- 
tion, and airplane parts were captured by the Nationalists, 
and further immense supplies, sufficient to have continued 
the fight in Catalonia for many months, were taken by the 
Republican Army across the passes of the Pyrenees. There 
is no truth, as the French can now see with their own eyes, 
in the statement that Franco won his Ebro victory by 
weight of material. He won: 

(a) Because he applied his strength at the crucial points. 

(b) Because his men had faith in their leaders. 

(c) Because he had a contented country behind him. 

Our official attitude toward Nationalist Spain was 
extraordinary considering that our Government must 
have known of the dishonesty and diabolical cruelty in 
the Republican zone, and of the peace and prosperity on 
the other side. I have said enough about murder: a few 
instances of Red theft and muddle may be given. In 
Barcelona the chief electric power undertaking was in 
British hands, and represented some ;r 20,000,000 of capital 
investment. It was taken over by a Workers' Committee 
in August, 1936, and liquid funds to the value of 
;r 1,250,000 immediately disappeared. No dividends were 
ever paid. The Rio Tinto Mines, in the southwest, repre- 
sent some ;/^ 10,000,000 of British capital. In the anarchy 
prevailing before the revolt all work had stopped. Work 
was resumed immediately after occupation by Franco's 
forces in August, 1936, and production has risen since 


then by 25 per cent owing to the stable conditions pre- 
vaiHng. NationaHst stability is also shown by the 
exchange rates of the peseta: the Franco peseta at 41 to 
the £ compared with the Republican peseta at 100 to 
the £, but in reality, in a free exchange, the former was 
worth five times as much as the latter at the beginning 
of 1939. 

The British Government must have known that Franco 
was going to win, but the British public certainly did not. 
As to the attitude of our Press, two instances must suffice: 
they could be duplicated weekly since July, 1936. When 
Bilbao fell, in June, 1937, a London evening paper had 
eighty-six columns of reading matter, of which only two 
half columns, neither of them at the top of the page, 
related to the Basque capital. One was headed: "Mussolini 
exults at fall of Bilbao." The other: "Children not to return 
to Bilbao yet," 

On Sunday evening, April 3rd, 1938, General Franco's 
forces captured Lerida, a key town in the advance into 
Catalonia, after bitter hand-to-hand fighting. Elsewhere the 
line moved forward. Toward the south the Nationalists 
had captured a village within twelve miles of the sea. At 
Cerbere, on the French frontier, 6,000 Red militiamen, 
who had been defeated in Upper Aragon, had escaped 
across the frontier at Luchon, and had been sent back to 
Barcelona to continue the civil war. 

What was the front-page news in the Daily Mirror of 
the following day, April 4th? "Convict Breads Gaol to 
Stop Horse, Saves Girl" Other items on the front page 
were, "Spelling Bee Beats Sweep." (A chimney sweep had 
failed to spell "condescension" and "moccasin.") "Only 
Child Drowned at Play" "Youth Dies in Cinema" "Man 
Found Stabbed" "Canoe Hits Bridge" "Police Search 
Girl Dancers" and "Bluejackets Cheer the Du\e." The 


fighting in Spain was reported on an inner page, under 
the headHne, ''Guns, not Guts, give Franco his Victory," 
and there was only an incidental mention of the fall of 
Lerida. Far more space was accorded to "My Anguish, by 
Six Widows," and to an indiarubber man who ties him- 
self in knots. 

The circulation of the Daily Mirror is satisfactory, I 
believe, to those who are concerned with its commercial 
welfare. I constantly see the Sovereign People reading it 
in trains and tubes. But its success is not so satisfactory 
to those good democrats who hope that with the spread 
of education the public will take an increasing interest in 
foreign affairs. 

Nor is the Daily Mirror exceptional in its treatment of 
the Spanish War. Unless the Nationalists were in difficul- 
ties few newspapers (except The Times) gave any promi- 
nence to their doings. No newspapers in London published 
the fine series of photographs which appeared in LTllustra- 
tion of Paris, of February 4th, 1939, showing the cheering 
crowds in Barcelona greeting the veterans of Navarre, and 
General Solchaga, with his staff, hearing Mass in the Plaza 
de Cataluna. 

We do not want to hear the truth about Spain. But we 
must hear it. Our very lives may depend upon our realizing 
that a proud and regenerated nation, ready to be friends 
with us, but contemptuous of threats, lies across our com- 
munications by the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. 

And more than our lives. The true climate of Spain is 
one of lofty enthusiasm, self-sacrifice, and sanctity. These 
qualities made her great in the past, and all of us in Europe 
need reminding of them to-day. 

Our English ignorance of what has been happening in 
Spain is depressing, but even more saddening is the 


constant appeal which one heard on all sides to purely 
material considerations. "Our communications with India 
will be threatened, so we ought to have helped the Re- 
publicans." Or, "Spain has half the world's quicksilver, 
therefore we must be friends with Franco." What non- 
sense! Spain has something better than safety and more 
precious than mercury to give us. One of her sons, for 
instance, wrote a letter after he had been condemned to 
deadi by the Communists in Bilbao which gives a glimpse 
of the courage and confidence that lights the soul of 
Spain. It was smuggled out to his family by a sympa- 
thetic Basque v/arder. With it I end this chapter, for it 
reveals far better than I could, in a million words, the 
dayspring which we await in this jungle we have made by 
our materialism: 

Santo Hospital Civil de Basarto, 
December iSth, 1936. 
My dearest Children, 

At this gravest hour of my life I am writing to give you the counsel 
of a father who is about to die, and would therefore have you follow 
his advice literally so that it may serve to guide you in your life. 
I have had three great loves in my life — the love of God, of Spain and 
of that dear Mother of yours who by His will is left to you so that 
you may take her as a constant example of affection, love and self- 
denial. I leave you whilst you are still children and unable to realize 
that you are losing a father, a counsellor and an educator; but Mamma, 
who is so good and kind, will take my place, and I will pray from 
Heaven for her and you. 

Study hard, make men of yourselves, the only way to which is by 
perseverance and work; and never forget that the main thing in life 
is the faith in God that saves souls, this being the end to which we 
came into the world. Be good Catholics, and the more fervent the 
better; and confess God privately and publicly as your greatest title to 
honour. The three of you boys must stand by your Mother always and 
in all things, whether she have reason on her side or not, for the 
supreme reason that she is your Mother. 


And now before God, into whose presence I shall be going soon, 
I proclaim that I have lived and die a Catholic, that I give my life 
gladly for God and Spain, and that you, my darling Candelas, have 
been my greatest love on earth. Long live Christ the King! Long live 
Spain! Good-bye, my darling wife, until eternity. 

»':>»^»«<.<«r^<r^^«<ri« r ^^^«««r<^ 


La Belle France 


HEN I think of a lunch I ate at the little Lion d'Or 
Hotel, at Selles, in Touraine, and the marvelous castle of 
Chenonceaux, and the rose-window of Chartres Cathedral, 
and the magnificence of Versailles, and the vineyards of 
Burgundy, and the great open fields of the Pas de Calais, 
my mind makes a reality out of this jumble. It is France to 
me, and I can add to it many pictures from many months 
when I was a French interpreter, and used to assess the 
damage (with M. Le Maire) caused by the maneuvers 
of our Indian Cavalry Division over the autumn crops 
of 1914. 

But when I think of French politics I see a kaleidoscope 
of ridiculous quarrels, unsavory scandals, and crises run- 
ning through a fantastic series of Governments. The aver- 
age life of a French Prime Minister is seven months. In 
seventy years there have been one hundred Governments 
in France. 

To average Englishmen there is always something baf- 
fling about the mind of our neighbors. They are a peace- 
loving people, but men fight duels, women blind each 
other with vitriol when reft of their lovers, and children 
bite and scream at the slightest provocation. I stopped 
the other day at a shop in St. Raphael, to buy a toy for 
an English child. It was almost impossible to find any- 
thing that was not a model tank, an airplane, or a machine- 
gun. France wants peace, but on her own terms. She is 
entirely reasonable, except when it comes to the vital need 
of understanding foreigners. She feels that she is the true 



fountain of the Latin genius, and that the rest of the 
world are barbarians, yet she mixes her blood cheerfully 
with that of black, brown and yellow races. Any Eng- 
lishman who is honest with himself will admit that Paris 
is more civilized than London, just as London is more 
civilized than New York. (As a writer, there is no country 
v/hose good opinion I value more. When the French 
praise a book it is always worth reading, and not the mere 
fashion of the hour.) Yet in spite of high standards of 
intellectual integrity, French public life is a sink of iniquity. 
A cesspool would not be too strong a term. Frenchmen 
and Frenchwomen who are themselves the soul of honor, 
yet tolerate, if they do not actually encourage, an amazing 
system of "subventions" to the Press and immorality and 
corruption among office-holders. Again, the family life of 
the French masses is strict; yet Paris is full of perversity, 
and in high places the moral code is far laxer than that of 
this country. Even in Geneva, before the eyes of all the 
world, French politicians have flaunted their be jeweled 
mistresses while enunciating the highest principles of inter- 
national morality. In short, the French are puzzling, daz- 
zling, and rather dismaying people. . . . (Often we dismay 
them also.) 

The very air of Paris is stimulating, let alone the speed 
of the traffic. (Someone might write an essay on the fero- 
cious driving of Parisians, the shabby cabs of London, the 
ostentatious vehicles of Bucharest, and so on.) And Paris, 
of course, is not France. Throughout the country one feels 
the vitality of a great people, full of shrewdness and com- 
mon sense, who know how to live. "How curious," said a 
peasant to me, on the Aisne, in 1914, watching my brother 
officers washing themselves in horse-buckets, "that you 
people make such a fuss about your skins, and so little 
about your stomachs." It was true. We were living like 


pigs, on bully-beef, while all the while a charming girl in 
the farm next door could have cooked us vegetables and 
soups fit for the palate of an Escoffier. And she did, when 
I took charge of the catering. 

The French know how to live, but they are dying faster 
than they are being born, and they have made a terrible 
mess of their affairs since 1918, when Europe was at their 
feet. Not only their birth rate, but their industrial produc- 
tion has ebbed to a dangerous degree. They are intense 
individualists, ardent patriots, yet have allowed their coun- 
try to slide into a decline from which nothing but a dicta- 
torship can save them. 

I lived once for a week with a French cavalry regiment. 
My first night at mess the war seemed a thousand miles 
away, though the guns boomed close to the chateau where 
we were billeted. 

We toasted each other in champagne nature, that king 
of wines, grown from the soil we were defending, and the 
cook made a silk purse out of the sow's ear of rations; con- 
versation sparkled as it never does at an English dinner- 
table, where everyone insists on trying to tell his neighbor 
something, instead of joining in a round game of talk. I 
was enchanted. But the ferocious quality of the French 
was apparent even in their gayety; after a day or two I 
began to feel vaguely unhappy. I was amused, interested, 
sometimes elated, but never at my ease. Soon I realized 
that the regiment was not a happy family. Nobody liked 
the Colonel. That sometimes happens with us. But no- 
body liked anybody in this regiment. There was plenty 
of good talk and surface cordiality, but there was no 
respect, trust, love such as there is between officers and 
men in the British Army. The more I learned about 
Frenchmen the less I understood them. I respected them, 
and still do, but stories of their love affairs strangely dis- 


gusted me (strangely, for English bawdy-talk is broader) 
and their hates seemed to be mean and malicious. Yet the 
discipline of the regiment was good, and its courage mag- 
nificent. I admired my hosts, but from a distance: and 
realized that there was some fundamental incomprehension 
between us. I still feel this gap, though I may claim to 
know the French fairly well, and have certainly received 
many kindnesses from them, not only of the social sort, but 
in the intimate comradeship of war. 

Always, I think, there will be a reserve between the 
average Frenchman and the average Englishman, but the 
distance can and must be bridged by our common interests. 
Politics have nothing to do with personal affection. "Do 
you really love (aimez) the French?" a journalist asked 
Mussolini. "Sir," the Duce answered, "that is a verb I do 
not conjugate in diplomacy." 

Jb M^ JL 


To-day one reads rather sadly the twenty-year-old in- 
scription near the already old-fashioned wagon-lit, which is 
now an exhibit in the forest of Compiegne, where Foch 
met the Germans who came to sue for an armistice: 


le II Novembre 191 8 


le criminal orgueil 

de rEmpfre Allemand 


par les peoples libres 
qu'il pretendait asservir. 

Les peuples libres. ... I suppose we are still that, al- 
though when I think of the generous idealism that in- 
spired the years of the Great War, when we were anything 


but free, and compare those days with the present, I won- 
der how long our liberties can endure. Assuredly in France 
there will be drastic changes. M. Daladier is a dictator; but 
is dictatorship enough, without a party behind him vowed 
to regenerate public life? 

Most of us were under the impression, at any rate until 
the crisis of September, 1938, that democracy was working 
fairly well in France, and that M. Leon Blum, for instance, 
was a moderate-minded Liberal statesman engaged in giv- 
ing his country some long-overdue industrial reforms. . . . 
Now we know better. 

Of M. Blum the late M. Clemenceau said to his friend, 
M. Martet: 

"At present I don't know which I want most: to keep 
alive and gaze at the sea, or to die, so as not to have to see 
Leon Blum any more!" 

Martet: "Better keep alive!" 

Clemenceau: "I do so from instinct. I wonder who on 
earth invented Leon Blum?" 

Martet: "The God of the Jews." 

Clemenceau: "He is a peculiar phenomenon. One thinks 
of the Isis and Mithra religions, which slowly penetrated 
into Roman society and destroyed it." 

Have the people of France been dupes of dark forces, 
ever since the Revolution? The Jews? The "two hundred 
families" ? The regents of the Bank of France ? The Grand 
Orient?* Anti-Semitism is growing fast in France, ever 

* The Grand Orient of France has no connection with the Grand Lodge 
of England or the Scottish Rite of Free and Accepted Masonry. English and 
Scottish Masonry rigidly exclude politics in their lodges, which meet only for 
social and charitable purposes. In France, on the other hand, and in many 
other countries, the Grand Orient (with 30,000 members in France), the 
Grand Lodge of France (16,000 members) the Droit Humain (4,000 mem- 
bers) exercise a secret and powerful influence on industry, education and 
politics. There are loo industrial lodges in France. One hundred Senators and 
200 deputies are known to be Freemasons. 


since M. Blum became Prime Minister, and freemasonry 
and high finance are also fiercely attacked. 

When things go wrong it is tempting to find a scape- 
goat. Still, things do not go wrong by magic. Someone 
is responsible. The deeper we probe the more clearly we 
discover that the roots of Communism have spread through- 
out a soil weakened by war-exhaustion and racial impover- 
ishment. France has too many foreigners on her rich soil. 
(She is spending at present ;r 1,200,000 a month in looking 
after 450,000 Spanish refugees from Catalonia, of whom at 
least 25,000 are dangerous criminals. In addition, she has 
another 2,000,000 aliens.) She is a financial oligarchy, se- 
curely entrenched for the last hundred years; and the free- 
masons have a bad record of political scandals in which 
several Cabinet Ministers have been involved. And most of 
these people, to whom democracy is a profitable business, 
are an easy prey to the Comintern. 

A few days before coming to power, on May 30th, 1936, 
M. Blum declared that "the question in the existing state 
of affairs is whether it is possible to prepare the mind of 
the people for the inevitable coming of Socialism. Is it 
possible to effect a peaceful transition from the old order to 
the new ? . . . Why should anyone believe," he continued, 
"that we are going to look after bourgeois society, or serve 
its ends? Its ruin is already a reality, something accom- 
plished: I tell you, it belongs already to the past." 

When he spoke, fourteen of the largest factories of 
France were occupied by 42,270 workmen in stay-in 
strikes. Disorder spread rapidly as his Government 
took office on June 4th, 1936, and the sixty-nine indus- 
trial laws he passed in nine weeks, including the 40-hour 
week and the "democratization" of the Bank of France, 
did nothing practical to relieve the tension. Employers 
were bewildered, and the workers merely demanded more 


Disorder in the cities, distress in the countryside, general 
dismay regarding finance: here we find once again the 
familiar "revolutionary situation," which the Communists 
hoped to turn to their advantage. "The Popular Front Gov- 
ernment," said M. Maurice Thorez, the Communist leader, 
"is a Government to prepare for die complete seizure of 
power by the working-class, a Government which will be 
the prelude to the armed rising for the Dictatorship of the 

Communists had long been busy in the army, navy, and 
air-force. Just how far the work of military disintegration 
had proceeded it is not permissible to publish, but the 
plight of French aviation at the time of the crisis of Sep- 
tember, 1938, is well known. By 1936 every city, every large 
factory, and many villages had been thoroughly organized 
by the Comintern. "When one has an exact picture of this 
formidable organization," writes M. Jacques Bardoux* (to 
whom I am indebted for many details which follow) 
"with its vast bases in France and Spain, and its narrow 
apex in Russia, one is able to gauge its power of pene- 
tration." The Central Committee of the Parti Communiste 
Frangais is appointed by the Comintern in Moscow. Its 
chiefs are French (M. Maurice Thorez is a sturdy, good- 
looking, fair-haired ex-miner, gifted with a persuasive 
eloquence), but Russian agents are always in Paris to 
supervise the work of the P.C.F. and report directly to 
the Kremlin. 

In the French Senate the P.C.F. has two Senators and 
in the Chamber 72 deputies. (There were only 17 Com- 
munists in the last Spanish Cortes.) In the municipali- 
ties of France Communists have a majority in 164 
boroughs, and a strong minority in 200 others. There are 
70 Communist Regional Centers, each with a paid secre- 

* Les Soviets contre la France and ]' Accuse Moscow, by Jacques Bardoux. 
Flammarion, Paris, 1938. 


tary. Nine special Committees of the P.C.F. deal with 
Trade Unions, Peasants, Women, Cooperatives, Colonies, 
the Middle Classes, Foreign Workers, Ex-Service men, 
and Tenants, thus leaving lew classes of citizens un- 
touched. By the alliance of the C.G.T.U. (Confedera- 
tion Generale du Travail Unitaire, the Communist or- 
ganization) v^ith the C.G.T. (Confederation General du 
Travail) the P.C.F. influences the 3,700,000 trade unionists 
of France. 

Propaganda of the printed v\^ord is on an enormous 
scale, and direct subventions from Moscow have been 
proved in numerous cases. The circulation of L'Humanite 
is 510,000 a day. There are 39 regional organs, such as 
UEnchaine with a circulation of 23,000 and Rouge Midi 
with 14,000 subscribers. There are also numerous factory 
newspapers, such as L' Incorruptible, for the Renault works. 
Other publications supporting Communism printed in Paris 


L' Internationale Communiste. 

La Russie d'aujourd'hui (illustrated). 

Notre leunesse (illustrated). 

La Ltitte (the organ of the Militant Godless). 

Le Re veil des Combattants. 

Paix et Liberte (this organ, like other pacifist papers, preaches a 
crusade against Germany and Italy, following Dimitrov's direc- 
tive: "The struggle for peace is in present circumstances a fight 
against Fascism"). 

Notre leunesse (illustrated, for children). 

L'Enfance (illustrated, for children). 

Les Cahiers du Contre-enseignment Proletarien (for teachers). 

lournal des Peuples Opprimes (organ of the Anti-Imperialist 


La Terre. 


Les Cahiers du Bolchevisme. 

Le Chemin du Bonheur (for children). 


Mon Camarade (for children). 

Le Cri des Chomeurs. 

Vigilance (for Anti-Fascist intellectuals). 


La Correspondance Internationale. 

Les Documents de la Russie Neuve. 


Defense (organ of the Internationale Red Help). 

La Vie Ouvriere. 

Publications issued from Moscow in French and circu- 
lated from Communist Headquarters for Western Europe 
in Paris include: 

Le Journal de Moscow (a weekly). 

La Revue de Moscow (an illustrated fortnightly review). 
L'U.R.S.S. en Construction (an illustrated monthly). 
La Litterature Internationale (a monthly). 

There is evidence to show that a Communist rising was 
planned in France for June nth, 1936, to coincide with a 
rising in Spain at the same time, but that the former was 
postponed in order not to weaken a valuable ally in a 
moment of international tension; indeed, it is doubtful 
whether the Comintern now desires a revolution in France, 
for a state of uncertainty and confusion serves its purpose 
better. To-day France remains strong enough to attack Ger- 
many or Italy if a casus belli occurs, whereas a France in 
the throes of civil war would only be a liability. 

Of the elections of 1936 the cautious M. Duval, of the 
Temps, writes:* "Money flowed: no one ever thought that 
the electoral chests of the Communists and Socialists could 
be so liberally provided. The posters, the pamphlets, the 
newspapers distributed by the gross, and the special orators 
sent from Paris all said the same thing: they told the 
people that the Popular Front meant bread, liberty, and 
peace. The forty-hour week would abolish unemployment, 

* L' Experience Frangaise de Front Populaire, by Maurice Duval. Institut 
Internationale d'action Antimarxiste, Paris, 1938. 


the franc would be defended, the peasants would be better 
off, and the Bank of France would be freed from the grip 
of the two hundred families!" (In the event none of these 
promises were fulfilled.) 

On the eve of the elections M. Thorez made a broadcast 
appeal repudiating the "odious slanders" which represented 
his Party as the agent of the foreigner.* "It is not in Rome 
or Berlin, nor in any foreign capital, not even in Moscow 
(to which we have never disguised our deep attachment), 
that the destiny of our people will be decided; it is in 

In Paris! So said M. Thorez, with his hand on his heart, 
well knowing that the constitution of the French Commu- 
nist Party, like that of all other Communist Parties, pro- 
vides that the decisions of Moscow are binding on all 
foreign centers. He concluded his broadcast by his famous 
appeal of the main tendue, asking Catholics and members 
of the Croix de Feu to become, with the Communists, 
"partisans of the purest and noblest ideal that could be 
proposed to men." The voting showed that his words 
went home, for the Communist poll increased by 700,000 
to a total of 1,502,404; and the strength of the Communist 
Party in France (that is, not sympathizers, but the trained 
and trusted agents of revolution) rose from 134,000 in May, 
1936, to 322,000 members in May, 1937. 

What were the results of M. Blum's reforms? He 
increased wages by 12 per cent, but prices rose by 30 per 
cent. Production slumped. Unemployment rose. Capital 
took fright, and once again the franc was in danger. 
"The country has no need to fear that there will be a 
monetary coup d'etat^' M. Blum told the Chamber on 
June 6th. Yet at that very moment he was preparing for 
the devaluation which, in fact, occurred in September, 


* Russia's Wor\ in France, by R. J. Dingle. Hale, 1938. 


The franc fell, but not M. Blum. He had proved him- 
self useful to the forces of disorder, and now demanded 
a free hand to save the desperate situation. A dictator- 
ship v^as necessary; temporary, of course, and not like 
those of Germany and Italy — still, a dictatorship. After 
a debate which lasted all night (a discussion on whether 
there should be a Government by discussion or not) the 
Chamber gave M. Blum the powers he asked for, but the 
Senate turned down the proposal flatly. The first Blum 
Government resigned, and was succeeded on June 22nd, 
1937? by ^ Cabinet in which M. Chautemps was Premier, 
with M. Blum as his right hand. M. Bonnet, whom 
M. Blum had sent away as far as possible — to Washington 
as French Ambassador — owing to his inconvenient views 
on sound iinance, was hastily brought back to save the 
franc from collapse. France had need of him, for there was 
at this time only ;r 180,000 in the Treasury Account of 
the Bank of France. Gold reserves had diminished by 
;/^50,ooo,ooo, and the Public Debt had increased by 
;r 1 15,000,000. 

The economic position of France is precarious (although 
her natural wealth is enormous) because her politicians 
have been playing ducks and drakes with her money. In 
1938 there were only two Ministers of Finance, but in a 
recent year there were no less than six. As the Hon. 
George Peel says:"* "They are not exactly transient, em- 
barrassed phantoms ; they are transient, but not embarrassed. 
I remember one of them was in office in December, 1925, 
for eighteen days, but during that time he brought in eight 
important measures of finance. . . . There is an incredible 
confusion and chaos in the fiscal and economic legislation 
of France." 

Gold hoarding and tax evasion are practiced on a 
gigantic scale. Mr. Peel quotes an estimate made by 

* Journal of the Institute jor International Affairs for March, 1928. 


experts of the Bank of France, who calculated that six 
milliards of gold are hoarded in the country (say, 
;f33,ooo,ooo) and twenty-four milliards outside (say, 
;^ 132,000,000), and that there are also thirty milliards 
of hoarded notes (say, ;r 114,000,000). A total of nearly 
;r28o,ooo,ooo is hidden away by those who fear a collapse 
of credit. 

As regards tax evasion, probably three-quarters of 
income-tax remains unpaid (France has only had an 
income-tax since 1914), and few people in France buy or 
sell real estate without drawing up a fictitious agreement, 
in order to avoid paying more than a moiety of the 
property-transfer tax. Yesterday, to put it bluntly, 
France was on the verge of bankruptcy. To-day, under 
a dictatorship, her position remains difficult, but is rather 
more secure. 

The franc, which had stood at 76 to the pound at the 
beginning of M. Blum's first administration, fell to 166 
to the pound, and is now 176 to the pound. When 
M. Blum left his second Premiership, one hundred factories 
were still occupied by their employees, and there were 
190,000 steel workers on strike. The French Budget was 
only able to cover one-half of the expenses of the State. 

Such was the position — the appalling position — when 
M. Daladier came to power on April loth, 1938, with 
M. Chautemps as his Vice-Premier and M. Bonnet as his 
Finance Minister. The outstanding features of his regime 
have been his handling of the crisis of September, 1938, 
the breaking of the General Strike in November, and his 
assumption of dictatorial powers for six months as from 
March, 1939. 

Under M. Daladier there has been an encouraging but 
not as yet remarkable return of confidence. Production is 
rising slowly. Leeway in defense is being made up steadily. 
Expatriated capital is returning shyly. One cannot say more 


at present. However sound the French people are at heart, 
they have a terriiic task to face in rebuilding their economy 
with a declining population, possible enemies on three 
fronts, and an ally who hesitates to introduce conscrip- 
tion. MM. Daladier and Bonnet are the foes of all the 
forces of disorder in France, as Mr. Chamberlain is in 
England; but these men have implacable enemies to face, 
"bears" who have sold pounds and francs short on Wall 
Street and knovv^ that they will be ruined if peace is 

# # # 

Right-Wing friends used to tell me that France was 
bound to see a revolution in 1939, accompanied by blood- 
shed. This danger has been averted now, for there is a 
distinct swing away from Communism, v/hich the small 
landholder and small shopkeeper have recognized as the 
negation of Christian values and individual enterprise; but 
M. Daladier is as yet by no means out of the wood. 

And one must believe in miracles where France is con- 
cerned. On a hundred battlefields we have tested the 
courage of the French and dieir amazing tenacity; in 
their glorious history "ils ne passeront pas" v/as not said 
for the first or the last time at Verdun. The Voices heard 
by Jeanne d'Arc still speak to the hidden heart of 

A friend of mine, criticizing the armies in Flanders, said 
of the Germans: "These Huns are brave enough, but if 
someone with a commanding voice were to say to them, 
'Halt! About turn! Ground arms!' they would at once obey, 
and the war would be over. I wonder someone doesn't try 
it!" Eventually someone did, and our propaganda worked 
like magic. Of the French my friend said: "The little devils 
go back to get a cup of coffee, and leave us in the lurch. 
We've had several disasters because they exposed our 


flanks. But they always come up again, and fight Hke 
tiger-cats, and kill more Germans than if they'd stayed 

The Frenchman is a superb soldier, especially in a mod- 
ern army, where a high degree of individual initiative is 
required. Never again, thank God, will massed attacks on 
the Somme model be possible in future wars. After artil- 
lery preparation the tanks will go forward, screening small 
detachments of machine-gunners who will endeavor to 
enfilade the enemy's position. Once the attack is launched, 
communication with headquarters will be almost impos- 
sible. The tactics of the break-through require soldiers 
with a lively intelligence and junior leaders who can 
take responsibility, qualities in which the French 

These innate virtues will serve France in other spheres. 
Her patriots left the trenches of civilization from 1932 to 
1939, and we have seen the result in a distracted Europe. 
Scandal has followed scandal and riot after riot in France. 

A few of the Communist disorders may be mentioned, 
to show how similar are the results of a Popular Front 
wherever it is in power: 

At Bullier, in September, 1932, 26 police were wounded. In Paris, 
on February 6th, 1934, there were 24 dead and 1,000 wounded in 
the Place de la Concorde, and on February 9th, 4 dead and 200 
wounded in the Place de la Republique; on August 6th, 1935, at 
Brest, I dead and 15 wounded; on March i6th, 1937, at Clichy, 5 
dead; on September 2nd, in Morocco, 10 dead and 56 wounded, and 
next month 50 wounded, and similar disturbances in Tunisia. Of 
social conflicts France has had her fill, from the General Strike of 
February 12th, 1934, to that of November 30th, 1938, and all were 
inspired and led by Communists. 

During an important debate in the Chamber last year 
Communist deputies telephoned to Moscow to ask how 
they should vote. Later, owing to a change in the situation, 
they telephoned again, but received contradictory instruc- 


dons, for the Commissar who had given them their first 
orders had been liquidated in the meanwhile. . . . Thus 
were the affairs of a proud people swayed! 

Not for long, however! M. Daladier has drawn the 
claws of the Communists; and in the 1940 elections I 
have little doubt that the masses will turn to the Right, 
if not to a dictatorship. Colonel de la Rocque is gaining 
ground again; he had half a million supporters in 1936 
when the Croix de Feu was dissolved, now he has 750,000. 
(But few people imagine that Colonel de la Rocque him- 
self could govern France.) The Jeunesses Patriotes are 
also very much alive, with a quarter of a million followers. 
The Royalist Party is in eclipse; it has no following in 
the country. M. Flandin is unlikely to return as long as 
the present tension with the Axis Powers continues, or 
increases, as seems likely owing to the emphatic French 
"jamais'' to Italy's proposals. Among Left-Wing organiza- 
tions there is considerable confusion. M. Blum's party 
is split. The Confederation General du Travail has lost 
a million members since the General Strike of November, 


But it is the peasants of France, not the political parties, 
who are still the real masters of her destiny. The parties 
in the Chamber group and regroup themselves according 
to the intrigues of the moment, and are loyally served by 
the Civil Service, but behind the Government are the 
vines and the corn and the men and women to whom 
they belong. French courage and French common sense 
remain. In 1914, when I first came to know the peasants, 
they were the backbone of the country, for half France 
was based on her soil. To-day little more than a third of 
her people are engaged in agriculture; still, they are the 
salt of her earth. 

They are the leaven that shall rise in the dough of mean 
materialism and sententious nonsense which we falsely 


call democracy. The French may discover a true democ- 
racy, a new way of life, for themselves and perhaps for 
others also. 

My mind returns to the Lion d'Or at Selles, where 
Jeanne d'Arc stayed in November, 1429. My wife and I 
lunched there on a November day. Our hostess was 
suckling a child, the youngest of five. We arrived late and 
tired. She apologized for giving us only what she and her 
husband had eaten themselves. 

Only! What a jugged hare, what a cream cheese, and 
salad, and generous amber wine! That inn is the real 
France. People who live as our hosts do of the Lion d'Or, 
with so great a history behind them and so grand a coun- 
try before them, must, humanly speaking, be immortal. 
Through them, and their children and children's children, 
something very precious survives: the grace and glory that 
is France. And there are still millions of them, sane and 
solid people, with a sense of tradition and a sense of pro- 
portion that may save the world. 


John Bull and the Foreigners 

Yours now are the ancient hills and the wide horizon, 
O youth immortal, yours the undying fire; 
The faith that life has an aim; that a spark from heaven 
Still falls on earth to kindle your own desire; 
That the long blind struggle of man from the primal darkness 
Up to his glimpse of a God, was not wholly vain; 
Hold fast that faith; for a world that had wellnigh lost it. 
Here, now, in the dark, cries: "Give us that glimpse again!" 

Alfred Noyes, 1937- 

LD Sa'adi tells us of three wandering dervishes visit- 
ing an elephant in a dark stable. One felt the beast's 
hide and thought it w^as a wall; another, touching its 
tail, said it was a rope; and the third, who stroked its 
trunk, declared that it was a snake. These men have 
pointed many an obvious moral. I bring them forward 
again because a legion of wandering dervishes have been 
writing books on Europe, and now I have added to their 

I believe I know a snake when it crosses my path, and 
I have tried to show you the serpent in the European 
jungle. You may think me prejudiced. But was not the 
viewpoint of the other dervishes also rather limited? I 
feel that we are all groping in the twilight — perhaps the 
twilight of dawn — judging others by standards which are 
really only applicable to ourselves, and therefore often 
judging falsely. As Dr. C. G. Darwin pointed out in the 
Galton Lecture this year, the Theory of Complementality 
applies to foreign affairs: we can only measure things by 
assuming that other things are fixed, and these other 



things are often like Alice's croquet mallet, turning into 
a flamingo in her hand. Knowledge is relative, and the 
mind of a man a fallible pair of calipers: as soon as it 
grasps something completely it has ceased to be itself. To 
measure the mind of a Frenchman we must know France 
well, but knowing France well we cease to be typically 
English. And so on. 

On a short view it is quite true that Germany and Italy 
are making claims on us more dangerous than any ideo- 
logical threat from Moscow. But on a long view there are 
no terms to be made with the Comintern and what it 
stands for — namely, the annihilation of Christianity and of 
our whole system of civilization. 

In the confusion of the days to come, while rival systems 
are fighting for the dominion of the world, we must base 
our outlook on broad principles. Assuredly all Communists 
are not criminals, and the Comintern is not the only villain 
in the European drama; capitalist greed, Nazi grabbing, 
and Fascist threats have also played their part. I am no 
supporter of any system that cannot find work for two 
millions of my countrymen, and I look with disgust on 
some of the recent actions of the Axis. But Marx and 
Lenin meant what they said about governing by terror, 
exterminating religion, and intervening in the affairs of 
foreign countries, even by invasion when suitable oppor- 
tunity offers; and their successors have carried out their 
policy in all its ugly details. More, their policy has been 
approved by 91,000,000 Russians. Let them do what they 
like in their own country, but why should they export their 
creed of murder? 

Of late we have been told that not only is Communism 
a failure, but all authoritarian Government, and that there 
is nothing to choose between the dictatorships: one is as 


bad as the other. Now, Communism is no more com- 
parable to Nazism or Fascism than three motor-cars are 
comparable because they all have wheels. There are ob- 
vious similarities between the dictatorships, as there are 
between cars — for instance, they are all three revolution- 
ary Governments — but the criterion of cars is their per- 
formance, and this standard of comparison should also 
be applied to the dictatorships. Every nation has made 
mistakes and caused the death of innocent people (includ- 
ing our own), but to compare the worst actions of any 
European Government with the bestialities of the Bolshevik 
is absurd.* 

Where is our sense of proportion? What is wrong with 
England, I ask myself, that we can stomach the stuff we 
are being told about the state of Europe? How is it that 
our sense of values has been so distorted? 

If you tell the man-in-the-street that thousands of our 
boys and girls are being taught Communism as a religion, 
he will laugh in your face. He knows that Germany and 
Italy are alv/ays up to mischief, but there is no Com- 
munism in England; it has been rejected by the sturdy 
common sense of the masses, so let's turn to the sport pages 

* Statistics from the U.S.S.R. are unreliable, but according to figures given 
by Soviet officials themselves 1,860,000 persons were executed between 1917 
and 1920: this would be the equivalent of more than 500,000 persons executed 
in England during the same time. According to the Soviet statistician Oganow- 
sky, 5,000,000 people died of famine between 1921 and 1922. About the same 
number died in the famine of 1933. The religious, military and political 
purges have already been mentioned. Hardly any churches are open, and the 
number of clergy and monks arrested is conservatively estimated at 50,000. 
Many have been murdered, including 31 Bishops. Half the naval and military 
and air-force staffs have been shot, and three-quarters of the chief Com- 
missars throughout the U.S.S.R. Political prisoners employed on forced labor 
in Siberia are said to number 500,000. To obtain a visa to enter Russia is 
a matter of great difficulty, whereas visitors are welcomed in Germany and 
Italy. An apology ought to be necessary for the recapitulation of such in- 
formation, but in England we are anesthetized by anti-Fascist propaganda, 
and forgetful — as no other European country is — of what has been done in 


or to the gossip column! Besides, if we are to have a war, 
we must have Russia on our side. 

But shall we have Russia? What inducements can we 
offer to gain her goodwill? There is only one — that we 
accept Communism. , . . We might also ask ourselves 
whether Russia is fit to fight any battles, with her leading 
generals and admirals shot and 35,000 political Commissars 
enjoying equal power with the present naval and military 
chiefs. The system did not work well in Republican 

There are plenty of people here in England who hope 
to see us plunged into the "Second Imperialist War," as 
they call the present state of tension. Before listening to 
them we would do well to inquire into their credentials. 
The British Labor Party is a well-informed and patriotic 
body, with no delusions about what is going on at home,* 
and it can tell us much of the Communists and near- 
Communists in our midst. 

For instance, the Workers' International Relief is not 
a charitable organization, as some Socialist sympathizers 
used to think, but an instrument of Communist war upon 
the Labor Movement. *'It can take steps which political 
parties cannot take," said Comrade Willi Muenzenberg 
(who is now in disgrace with the Comintern, perhaps 
because of his indiscretions). "We must get hold of other 
groups, under other names. We must penetrate every con- 
ceivable milieu, get hold of artists and professors, make use 
of theatres and cinemas, and spread abroad the doctrine 
that Russia is prepared to sacrifice everything to keep the 
world at peace." 

Among the associations which are regarded as at least 
sympathetic to the Communist cause in Great Britain 
(Comrade Muenzenberg calls them "Innocents' Clubs"), 

* The Communist Solar System, from Transport House, S.W. i, 1933. 


whether or not they are actually connected with the Com- 
munist Party, are: 

The Young Communist League. 

The Aircraft Shop Stewards' National Council. 

Friends of the Soviet Union. 

The Left Book Club. 


National Unemployed Workers' Movement. 

Film and Photo League. 


Collet's Bookshops. 

Workers' Bookshops. 

Negro Welfare Association. 

Spanish Dependents Aid Committee. 

China Campaign Committee. 

Unity Theatre. 

Prospect Tours. 

Relief Committee for Victims of Fascism. 

League Against Imperialism. 

Marx House (for training Communists). 

Penetration of the Labor Movement is particularly 
directed toward youth. In 1935 the leaders of the 
Young Communist League returned from Moscow and 
prepared a "Charter of Youth Rights," which appealed 
to anti-Fascist and anti-war feeling; they were careful not 
to put forward the usual Communist slogans demand- 
ing revolution and class war, and replaced them with 
"Mobilize for Peace!" and ";r 5,000,000 for Playing 

There are 16,000 Communists in Great Britain, an 
increase of 3,000 in the last year, and 4,500 Young Com- 
munists. The circulation of the Daily Worker is about 
80,000 a day. Challenge has 20,000 weekly readers. An- 
other Communist publication is the weekly World News 
and Views, formerly the International Press Correspond- 
ence; and the following monthly journals are at least sym- 
pathetic to Communism: 


Labour Monthly. 

Labour Research. 


Our Youth. 

Russia To-day. 

Left News. 


New Propeller. 

Irish Front. 

New Builders' Leader. 

Finsbury Clarion. 

Holborn Outloo\. 

Party Organizer. 

The Printer. 

Teachers' International Review. 

The Country Standard. 

Until 1938 there were Communist cells in all our 
arsenals, dockyards, and aircraft factories,* engaged in 
slowing down or sabotaging production. Nowadays 
Moscow wants a well-armed Britain, but the cells are still 
in existence. Details cannot be published, but the un- 
pleasant fact remains that there are people in our key 
industries who cannot be trusted, and who would consult 
the interests of the Comintern before the interests of their 
country. ("Spy mania!" and "Mare's nest!" I can hear 
the very people declare who were lately telling us to 
disarm!) We can hardly believe that conspiracies exist 
in England, for some of us are so comfortable, contented, 
law-abiding. . . . We have grown sluggish in imagi- 
nation, as sometimes happens to the English when 
they take their ease. One day the fear of God may 
sain us. 

In his lusty youth the British lion had to range far 
for his food and fight for his life. Those days are over. 
To-day he is lapped in the luxury of a vast and half- 

* Hindering Nafional Defence, published by the Economic League, 1937. 


developed Empire, inclined to sprawl and yawn, rather 
dazed, and very cross, growling at the Nazi eagle and the 
Fascist wolf and the Rising Sun. ... He must wake up 
and range across his own domain instead of complain- 
ing eternally about the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo triangle. If 
it did not exist, some other combination would be 
casting envious eyes on his possessions. Healthy lions 
do not believe in perpetual peace. "Come the three 
corners of the world in arms, and we shall shock 

Sooner or later we shall be challenged; in the world as 
it is we cannot expect to hold our immense possessions 
forever without attack. We have tried to change the world 
so that it would agree to maintain the status quo, but that 
was not in our power. Security is in our power, provided 
we no longer delude ourselves with the idea that any 
formula but that of our own strength can save us in the 
day of reckoning. 

We have seen how difficult and dangerous it will be to 
engage ourselves to support any Continental Power, but 
how necessary some engagements are at the moment. 
How are we to implement them? There is only one way, 
and that we are not taking it, at any rate immediately, 
argues badly for our state of mind. In the old days we 
used to look facts in the face. Now we seem to shun 

Why do we fear conscription? What more democratic 
measure could be conceived, if we mean by democracy 
an effort to "tie in a living tether the prince and priest 
and thrall"? If we had conscription, not only Germany 
and Italy, but also our potential allies would know for 
certain that we were not (as they suspect) intending to let 
others do the fighting whilst we manufacture munitions of 


war. ... I cannot here develop all the advantages of the 
measure I have in mind, which is doubtless too revolu- 
tionary to be put into practice at this anxious moment. 
(Indeed, conscription v^ill bring us no immediate increase 
in man-pov^er.) Nevertheless, I w^ould suggest, in bald 
outline, that national service should be universal, for both 
stxcs, and for all ages between i6 and 60. I believe such 
a measure would receive the necessary support in this free 
country, but doubtless, for some time to come, only a 
limited number of men would actually be required for 
military purposes, but every citizen should be classified for 
service, and should be under legal compulsion to serve, 
when required, although he or she might not actually be 
called upon for training. 

Present indications are that the youth of England, be- 
tween the ages of 20 and 25, would be the first to go to 
the front. This has been so in past wars, but I do not see 
why we should not make a drastic innovation, to save not 
so much the generous idealism of youth, although this 
also is important in the nation's life, but our eugenic fu- 
ture, the lives of children that might be born to us, but 
will not be if we sacrifice the rising generation to make 
the world safe for their elders. I would keep the young 
chiefly at home, and send their elders to fight. Many 
men like myself, between the ages of 40 and 60, are sound 
enough to occupy a trench or to fire a machine-gun. 
Many of us have had experience of war, and are either 
retired or could with advantage retire from our occupa- 
tions. We shall die soon in the course of nature: why 
not send us first? At any rate, those of us who are not 
wage-earners. And, whoever is chosen, let there be no dis- 
tinctions of rank or money. Even physical infirmity, unless 
very serious, need be no bar to working for one's country. 


Almost everyone has an active if perhaps a humble place in 
the national life. In this way, gradually, if not at one 
stroke, we could regenerate the spirit of England, to-day 
sickening with inaction. 

In most parts of the country the response to the Vol- 
untary National Register has been magnificent; but not 
everywhere. The poison of pacifism has gone deep in 
parts of the North and East. In the South, and in all 
country districts. National Service speakers meet with 
cheers, but there are certain industrial centers where any 
allusion to fighting for one's country is greeted with boos, 
and cries of "Militarist!" and "Don't talk tripe!" To 
soldiers it is obvious that striking power is more important 
than shelter, but not to civilians. Millions of people on 
these islands have never been confronted with the realities 
of war, and nourish absurd ideas about what is required of 
the citizens of a great Empire. Let us hope that they can 
be educated in time. 

However, we have always been casual, since the days of 
Ethelred. Before the Great War, Harry Graham wrote: 

I was playing golf 

The day the Germans landed: 

All our men had gone astray, 

All our ships were stranded: 

And the thought of England's shame 

Almost put me off my game. 

That was our attitude then, and still is. It makes us 
irritating allies, but also — and it is a consoling thought- 
dangerous adversaries. We have reserves to draw upon 
when our backs are to the wall. 

These reserves appear often in surprising ways. Lately 
I sat next to two old ladies in a Chelsea tea-shop, ap- 
parently mild, gentle, decrepit creatures, whose thoughts 


would be of their garden, or of the vicar's sermon, if not 
of the next world. I could not help overhearing one of 
them saying to the other: "Whaling is the best sport in 
the world!" Here is the poetry of Empire! All English 
people have a vein of adventure lying deep in their 
make-up, and a habit of looking on the world as their 

Also we have faith, courage, and kindness, no mean 
qualities for the difficult days ahead. 

In an emergency we can believe anything that is neces- 
sary. In Lucknow, not a hundred years ago, a thousand 
half-starved men, racked by sickness and short of ammuni- 
tion, never doubted that they would hold their own against 
one hundred thousand; and they did. (But to-day with our 
agriculture in its present state we should be wholly starved 
if we lost command of the air, or the sea-routes by which 
our supplies arrive. We have strong knees, but they will 
not avail without food and fuel. As Madrid fell so might 

Courage is an awkward thing to discuss, for compari- 
sons are odious, but so much has been said in recent years 
by the pacifists about the brutal qualities of "militarists" 
that it is only right to record that in my experience the 
braver the soldier the kinder he is. For three brief weeks 
in 1914 in France I commanded English troopers. They 
grumbled in billets, but as soon as we marched north and 
came in contact with the enemy they became transformed 
— literally — into perfect gentle knights. The more tiring 
the day the politer they were to their hosts of an evening. 
The more hard work they had to do — night-duty after 
sixteen hours in saddle, reveille before dawn, caring for 
sick horses when they were sick themselves — the less 
trouble they gave. How long this saintship would 


have lasted I do not know, but they were heroes, every 
one. We have, I think, greater endurance than any 
other people. Germans crack quite soon under adver- 
sity. We do not: we wake up when things go 

There is a legend about Babar, the Great Mogul, that 
when he was a boy hunting in the forests of the Hindu 
Kush, he was about to draw his bow on a deer when the 
beast looked at him with such tender eyes that he allowed 
her to escape. Turning in the thicket, she said: "As 
Allah has made you merciful, so He will make you 

Allah has made us merciful, and given us a great Em- 
pire. In the village where my mother lives she saw the 
butcher's boy nursing his pony through a thunderstorm. 
The pony was too frightened to move, because of the 
lightning, so he took off his coat, and put it over its head: 
he stood there in the pouring rain for half an hour patting 
its neck. There you see, in a flash, why our inheritance is 
preserved ! 

What a mighty inheritance it is! What prosperity and 
contentment might be ours! Instead of keeping two 
million unemployed on these islands, rotting on the dole, 
we might be busy clearing forests, irrigating prairies, 
erecting factories, developing the rich gifts accorded 
to us by "time and the ocean and some fostering star." 
But to do these things we must believe in ourselves, 
and free ourselves from the dead hand of fallacious 

Our population has doubled in the last hundred years. 
So has our wealth. Our electorate, during the same 
period, has increased from 1,000,000 to nearly 29,000,000; 
yet we are worse governed and less capable than wc used 
to be. 


Are we losing some of our native shrewdness, becoming 
less like John Bull, more like the John Smiths and Mary 
Browns of the Peace Ballot? Think of old John Jorrocks, 
how he would have spat with rage at Lord Cecil's ques- 
tionnaire ! 

Some frightening facts have been discovered by re- 
search workers in eugenics, which indicate that our people 
are definitely declining in mental ability. These facts 
should be faced, and freely discussed, especially by 
those who do not believe that England is going to the 

We have saved ourselves from great perils before, and 
can do so again. But a miracle will be necessary, a 
miraculous enlightenment, before we shall understand 
that the invasion of England from the weaker strains in 
our own blood is almost as dangerous as anything which 
threatens us from the outside. We all know about the 
German Menace, and rather less about the Red Horse of 
Troy: but few of us have even heard about the Differential 
Birth Rate. 

In his essay On Liberty, John Stuart Mill wrote: 

The initiation of all wise and noble things, comes, and must come, 
from the individual, generally at first from some one individual. It 
would seen that when the opinions of masses of nearly average men 
are everywhere become, or becoming the dominant power, the counter- 
poise and corrective to that tendency would be the more and more 
pronounced individuality of those who stand on the higher eminences 
of thought. 

Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of 
character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society 
has generally been in proportion to the amount of genius, mental 
vigour and moral courage it contained. That so few now appear to 
be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time. 

The greatness of England is now all collective: Individually small, 
we only appear capable of anything great by our habit of combining. 
But it was men of another standing that made England what It has 
been; and men of another standing will be needed to prevent its 


These "men of another standing" are no longer appearing 
in sufficient numbers. We used to lead the world in invention, 
research, manufacture, as well as sport. Now quite obviously 
we do not. 

The birth rate of our "professional" classes is 98 per 
1,000, that of skilled workers 134 per 1,000, and that of 
the unskilled 178 per 1,000. Roughly speaking, the less 
intelligent part of our population produces twice as many 
children as the more intelligent. This has been going on 
for about eighty years, since the Industrial Revolution, with 
the result that we are slowly becoming a nation of incapables. 
And not so very slowly, either, for if present trends con- 
tinue in 300 years half our population will be mentally 

Our ancestors, living in days of larger opportunity, did 
not limit their families. To-day, too many of us do so, 
and sin thereby against patriotism, if not against re- 
ligion. A nation may die from lack of capable children 
as surely, if not as quickly, as it may die from lack of 

In a monograph in the Eugenics Review, Dr. Raymond 
B. Cattell has described the tests he has made among 
thousands of children throughout the country, proving 
that the Intelligence Quotient* of the average child is 

* The Intelligence Quotient ("I.Q.") is a way of measuring mental ability. 
It is obtained by setting a child a series of questions designed to test his 
capacity to grasp and correlate ideas. The tests consist of asking the subject 
to complete a picture, to detect analogies, to classify groups of things pre- 
sented to him, etc.: some of the tests are simple enough to be solved by a 
child of six, but they can be graded up to any degree of difficulty. Professor 
Spearman's Abilities of Man is the classical work on the subject, and Dr. 
Cattell describes some of the latest tests in Your Mind and Mine. The sub- 
ject thus tested is awarded a certain number of marks, which fixes his 
"mental age" — i.e., the score made by an average child in answering the 
set of questions — and the I.Q. is obtained by dividing the mental age of 
the subject by its actual age, and multiplying the quotient by loo, in order 
to avoid fractions. Say your child, aged nine, has scored 80 marks in the 
tests, and that this is the score for an average child of twelve: he is said 


declining by about one point in every ten years. This 
tendency is not a matter of conjecture, but of mathe- 
matical certainty, for it has been proved beyond all 
shadov/ of doubt that the children of feeble-minded 
parents are generally feeble-minded, and the offspring of 
clever parents generally clever. And in the last thirty years 
Dr. Cattell tells us: "The very able children, v^ith an 
I.Q. of 140, are practically halved, v^hile 'scholarship chil- 
dren,* v^ith an I.Q. of 120, are reduced by about 35 per 

We have lost, during a generation (and not only through 
the Great War, v^hich v^as also disgenic, but through the 
Differential Birth Rate) half the men and women v^ho 
should have been our leaders. They remain unborn. The 
foolish and the feckless fill their vacant places. If this 
goes on, how long shall we be able to maintain our posi- 
tion in the world? Our land cannot be cultivated by men 
without ability, nor can our factories and offices be staffed 
by half-wits. 

Because babies vary in intelligence, however, society 
need not be graded into masters and slaves. In the mak- 
ing of a good life, intelligence is not as important as other 

to have a mental age of twelve, and his I.Q. is =: 133. Say he 

scored 50, and that this is the score for an average child of seven, then 

1 ^^ 100 
his I.Q. would be =: 77. Mentally defective children have generally 


an I.Q. below 65. "Scholarship children" — i.e., those for whom a higher 

education is obviously worth while — have generally an I.Q. above 120; whilst 
strikingly brilliant children may have I.Q.'s of 150 to 170. Among many 
thousands of persons tested, Dr. Cattell has met only two subjects with I.Q.'s 
of 200. A proof of the validity of I.Q. is that subjects tested by different 
examiners, at different times, give the same results to within a few points. 
Although some doctors have questioned the usefulness of these tests (chiefly 
their usefulness in dealing with mental defectives) all psychologists are agreed 
that they do give valuable data for the purpose of comparing "mother- wit" 
and "teachability" in children. 


qualities, hard to define, but commonly called character. 
In the Christian (as also in the Islamic and Jewish) faith 
men are equal in the sight of God; but this is not the 
democratic claim at all, which is based on the theory of 
congenital equality. That men are born "equal in 
reason" is a theory exploded fifty years ago, and with it 
the philosophical basis of Socialism and Communism. 
We come into the world each with his individual talent, 
and there is much wisdom in our English Catechism 
which recommends the Christian child to prepare himself 
to do his duty "in that state of life in which it shall 
please God to call him." There need be no inertia in 
this attitude. If God has given us ambition and ability, 
we are to use them, but we cannot all be great and power- 
ful. It is a plain fact (to which politicians rarely allude) 
that the task of every Government is to exert authority, 
that we may do what we ought, and refrain from doing 
what we ought not; and that we cannot all be rulers, 
under any system of Government, existing or imagined. 
Democracy tells us that we are the Sovereign People, but 
what is this illusion worth to our two million unem- 
ployed who have no economic freedom? Are the peo- 
ples of the totalitarian countries, now ruled by the 
sons of a cobbler, a customs official, and a blacksmith, 
much worse off than we are? They at least have work 
and wages and until recently could look confidently to 
the future. Their dreams may be shattered, but if so 
it will be by military adventures, not by their inter- 
nal economy, from which we have even something to 

After Communism and Pacifism I would put Inter- 
nationalism as the most dangerous idea current in 
Great Britain. They all hang together. We have no 


need to be Internationalists with the British Empire to 

Theoretically it might be possible for the Great Powers 
to be commercially interdependent, but not practically. 
Practically speaking, the affairs of the world will never 
improve until each Great Power puts its own house in 

If we try to make a world as the financiers want it, in 
which everyone is dependent on everyone else, irrespec- 
tive of race, creed, ways of life, the result will be con- 
fusion or a tyranny clamping down the safety-valves of 
discontent, for the masses can be articulate only within 
the Nation-State. It is difficult enough to keep the delicate 
balance between consumption and production in areas 
where people speak one language or are bound together 
by a common loyalty; but the idea of central manage- 
ment for world trade is absurd, or at least apocalyptical. 
Nobody would gain by such an arrangement except 
exchange brokers, middlemen, and shippers; and these, in 
fact, are the people who hold up Internationalism as a lofty 

What loftier ideal can be imagined than contented 
nations, or groups of contented nations, based on their 
own inner forces? In such a world there would be little 
or nothing left to fight about, whereas in a world where 
everyone is trying to cut down his competitor there 
can be nothing but quarrels. Imperial self-sufficiency 
is an ideal which can be approached in measurable 
time, whereas international free trade must become 
an international free fight for markets, and so re- 
main until human nature changes in a most radical 

One day, in the not impossible future, the world may 


be divided into four or five great economic groups, and if 
these groups are strong and well balanced they may agree 
to live and let live. But if we attempt to mind the 
foreigners' business before our ov^n, try to manage 
the whole world, or even Europe, as a single unit, we 
shall see no halcyon on the horizon, but the eagles of 

The dictatorship countries are right and the democra- 
cies are wrong in their respective economic theories. For 
the sake of human happiness we must, within reason (of 
course, there will be many exceptions) limit the area of 
economic struggle rather than seek to extend it over con- 
tinents. For England this would be a hard doctrine if 
we did not have our Empire. But we do have it, and without 
it we could not live. 

The Empire (I may be forgiven for repeating this 
curiously neglected platitude) is for England a matter of 
life and death. We are one of the most congested areas 
in the world, with 750 persons to the square mile, whereas 
Canada has only three persons to the square mile and 
Australia two. We cannot feed ourselves without the 
Dominions and Crown Colonies — not, at any rate, as a free 
people. With them we can produce practically everything we 

We have five of the great ports in the world: London, 
Liverpool, Calcutta, Hongkong, Montreal. "We control 
half the world's supply of cattle, of coal, of jute, of palm- 
oil, of rice, rubber-seeds, and tin."* The oil of Mosul 
and the gold of South Africa are in our keeping. The 
manufacturing power and mineral resources of the Empire 
are among the greatest in the world. Let us seize 

* Lord Beaverbrook in the House of Lords, November 19th, 1929. See 
also his My Case for Empire Free Trade, 19*0. 


our opportunities and have done with that extraordi- 
nary and all-too-common English attitude of mind which 
considers that the rights of animals come first, the 
rights of foreigners second, and those of our own people 
last. While we were in a ferment of fury over the woes 
of the Abyssinians, and while we were subscribing 
;^450,ooo for the Jews in Germany, there were 7,000,000 
people living on these islands in conditions euphem- 
istically described as "below the margin of subsist- 
ence" — that is, in misery and want; while in the 
United States (in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and 
Georgia) some 5,000,000 farmers and their dependents 
were also absolutely destitute. The misdirection of 
moral indignation is a weakness of the Anglo-Saxon 

There is enough wrong in England to arouse our indigna- 
tion and occupy our energies for a generation. We must 
undo the results of a century of wrong living. 

Signs of morbidity are almost universal* [Lord Lymington writes], 
so much so that we are apt to look upon the average as normal. People 
think it is quite normal to have 'flu every winter, to have incessant 
colds, to have false teeth and to wear spectacles. . . . Constipation, 
headaches, catarrh, low spirits, gastric ulcers and an infinite number 
of minor ailments are looked upon as the everyday lot of man. . . . 
This is borne out by the School Medical Officers' Reports, wherein 
really bad teeth are the lot of over two-thirds of the school children 
examined. It would easily be proved that 90 per cent of the children 
suffer from some defect or other that is a more or less serious handicap. 
These may vary from rickets and spinal curvature to dental caries, 
chronic catarrh and flat feet. One and all are signs of wrong nutrition 
or disgenic parenthood. 

How can we expect to have sound bodies when the 
majority of us live on tinned foods, drinking faintly 
chlorinated water, and breathing air contaminated with 

* Famine in England, by Lord Lymington. The Right Book Club, lo, Soho 
Square, W. i, 1938. 


carbon-monoxide? A million acres of arable land have gone 
out of cultivation. British agriculture is almost bankrupt. 
"The landlords have gone into the City, and the people 
into the slums." Yet our land and our climate are superb, 
and our livestock sets the standard of excellence for the 
whole w^orld. So ought our men and women to be the 
paragons of human progress. They once were. Now we are 
a "C 3 nation." 

It would be foolish not to admit, with Bagehot, that we 
are leading "such a life as God never suffered men to lead 
on the earth long, which He has always crushed out by 
calamity or revolution." Must we be taught by disaster? 
Or will these times, which are a very mirror of desolation, 
compel us to return to the strength and sanity of our native 
earth ? 

Thirty years ago the Germans found* that 75 per cent 
of the parents of men fit for military service came from 
the country, 23 per cent from small towns, and only 2 
per cent from the forty-eight cities of Germany with over 
100,000 population. The same is doubtless true of us. 
Without our agriculture, now on the road to ruin, we 
shall not only starve in wartime, but become sterile of 
our fighting stock. Yet in 1938 we imported ;r250,ooo,ooo 
worth of foodstuffs — grain, meat, dairy produce — 
most of which might have come from our English 

The outlook, then, is gloomy, as it so often is before 
the dawn. Too many seem to want to behave like rabbits, 
burrowing underground. We have 1,904,000 men between 
the ages of twenty and twenty-five in the United Kingdom, 
yet our modest little army of 200,000 is still 20,000 men 
under strength. Our boys and girls are growing up in 
idleness because, instead of encouraging them to go out 

* Imperial Germany, by Prince von Biilow. Casscll, 1914. 


to the wide lands of Empire, we prefer to let them 
stay idle on money we draw from our foreign invest- 
ments.* Small blame to them if they become Com- 
munists, if capitalism can do nothing better for them 
than the dole! Can we "muddle through" another 
crisis ? 

Can we? The courage of our people, their resourceful- 
ness, their strength in adversity, could not become a factor 
in war unless our virtues had time to take effect. Will 
they have time ? "If clocks were tongues of bawds," as Prince 
Harry said to Falstaff. 

War is not only inevitable, it is imminent unless we 
train ourselves, as well as arm ourselves, so thoroughly 
that aggressors are deterred. The whole population must 
be ready in case of war. If we do so prepare ourselves, 
then we may delay the conflict beyond living sight 
and hand over our heritage in a better condition to the 
next generation. Beyond that we cannot look. After- 
men will have other problems, but for us the way is 

We must be prepared, morally as well as physically. 
Prepared to resist Germany and Italy if their claims are 
extravagant, but prepared also, out of our strength, and 
in friendship with France, to make concessions which 
should have been made long ago in favor of the Axis 
Powers. We must not be involved in a war to make the 
world safe for Stalin or international Jewry. Those of us 
who wish to uphold the French and British Empires have 
nothing in common with those who wish to destroy 
Germany and Italy. We do not want to destroy these 
Empires, unless their demands are impossible to accept. 
So far the only impossible demand has been made by the 

* We could have established at least 10,000 of them in British Columbia for 
the ;C 10,000,000 which we voted to the Czechs without discussion. 


Communists, who desire to dominate the world with their 

We are rich, but our great possessions might vanish in 
a night. We have a higher standard of wages, a higher 
income per head of population, and better social services 
than any country in the world; but these things cannot 
save us. They may even lull us into a false sense of secu- 
rity. They may hinder our salvation, which can come 
only through a regeneration of the body and soul of 


A Note on Stalin 


TALiN, the "man of steel," was born Joseph Vissariono- 
vitch Djugashvili, a poor cobbler's son in a village near 
Tiflis. Like Mussolini, he was educated to be a priest, but 
he was a violent and intractable youth. His exploit in 1907 
in holding up a bank-van in Tiflis shows that he was readier 
than some of the other revolutionaries of that time to risk 
his person in the service of Communism. He and his fellow- 
conspirators lay in wait for the van, threw a bomb which 
killed thirty people, and made off with the loot, some 
;r5o,ooo at the then rate of exchange. 

This money was not for himself. No one has ever 
accused him of lining his pockets at the expense of the 
cause. It was dispatched to Lenin-Ulianov by the hand 
of the present Foreign Minister, M. Litvinov, who was 
sent to Paris for the purpose and was arrested there as a 
receiver of stolen goods. He was soon released, through 
the help of the Grand Orient of France, and went to live 
in London with Lenin, working as a purchasing agent for 
a German munitions firm by day and as a revolutionary 
by night. 

Stalin stayed in Russia. It is impossible not to admire 
his courage. When others, in the years after the un- 
successful revolution of 1905, were in safety and com- 
parative comfort abroad, Stalin was going from town to 
town, carrying the pure milk of Marxism, escaping from 
the Czar's secret police, only to be arrested again in some 
new lair. 

His history is that of his unhappy country. He saw the 



lavish lords, the starving peasantry, the corrupt Churches; 
he fought for his ideals tenaciously, suffering many per- 
secutions and imprisonments. How^ he escaped, time and 
again, from his various jails during the years betw^een 
1905 and 1912, while Trotsky v^as intriguing from abroad 
against the Bolsheviks (Trotsky did not become a regular 
member of the party until 1917), is a record of adven- 
ture as yet unpublished. If the v^orld knev^ it, much of his 
ruthlessness would doubtless be explained. Even without 
the details, it is clear why prisoners so rarely escape in 
Soviet Russia. I have also been in prisons, not so many 
as Stalin, but enough to know how morale may be 
broken down. It is knowledge that I would fain forget, 
but cannot, with the news from Barcelona before me as I 

In 1912, Stalin was sent to St. Petersburg to join the 
Central Committee of the then small Bolshevik Party, 
which had six members representing it in the Russian 
Parliament (the Duma) and a daily newspaper, the 
Pravda. Stalin controlled this press, and this group, from a 
hiding-place in St. Petersburg; but he was betrayed in 1913 
and sent to the Arctic Circle. For more than three years 
he lived in bleak and bitter exile, unable to elude his jailers, 
and cut off from his fellows, but improving his mind by 
reading history and classical authors. He read not only 
Russian authors, but Shakespeare and Goethe in translation. 
To-day his knowledge of foreign countries, though theoreti- 
cal, is said to be immense. 

Lenin's verdict on him may have been right, but it may 
also have been wrong, the judgment of a tired man. Lovable 
he cannot be, but his capacity is proven. He has a sound 
mind in a sound body, a cool judgment, and great grasp 
of detail. It is unlikely that he is flattered by the present 
courtship of the democracies; but it is always possible — 
I do not say probable — that he will see that it would be to 


his advantage to liquidate the Comintern and to bring 
Russia back into the civilized world. 

If he came to such a conclusion, could he carry it 
through? He is certainly trusted by the local rulers of the 
U.S.S.R. (the 1,600,000 Communists v^ho hold all the key 
positions), but v^e must remember that the Comintern has 
grown to be an international Colossus. Stalin probably has 
his hands too full of immediate tasks to venture on a dis- 
turbance of the cherished tenets of world revolution. More- 
over, the approach to capitalist countries will be difficult. 
We seem to trust Soviet Russia, but no other Government 
does. Hatred of Communism has bitten so deeply into the 
mentality of the nations that have seen it at close quarters 
that nothing short of a revolution in the U.S.S.R. would 
convince them that the Russians could be trusted. 


A Note on Mussolini 


ENiTo Mussolini (named after Benito Juarez, the Mex- 
ican revolutionary) was born at 2 p.m. on July 29th, 1883, 
during those days of high summer, under the constel- 
lation of Leo which the Italians call Solleone. His father, 
Alessandro, was the blacksmith of Predappio, a burly, big- 
fisted Socialist whose ancestors had been men of account 
in Bologna and Venice, and who had not so much fallen 
on evil days as refused to flatter or fawn upon those who 
might have advanced him in the world. He was a revolu- 
tionary, who had been in prison for his views, and he was 
still prominent enough in local politics to be watched by the 

The Duce's mother, Rosa Maltoni, came from the neigh- 
boring town of Forli. She was a slight, sensitive, deeply 
religious woman, who yet contrived to live happily with 
her tempestuous and atheistic husband. The Mussolinis were 
a typically Italian family, devoted to each other. To this 
day the Duce goes often (once a month when he can) and 
always in strict privacy, to visit the grave of his parents. And 
he still mourns the death of Arnaldo, who was his only 
really intimate friend. 

Benito learned the three R's from his mother, and also 
how to speak pure Italian, for she was ambitious, and did 
not allow her family to use the dialect of Romagna in the 
home. He went to school first in Predappio, then — at 
fourteen — as a boarder to the Salesian Convent at Faenza, 
where his mother hoped that he would be trained as a 
teacher, or perhaps for the Church. But Benito, though 



studious enough when interested, was an intractable and 
mischievous boy. He would soon have been expelled but 
for the intervention of his mother, and after a year of 
trouble and turmoil the Salesian Fathers said they could 
do no more with him. He was then sent to a school for 
teachers at Forlimpopoli, where he gained his diploma at 
the age of seventeen. He had already read Marx and 
Machiavelli. Owing to his father's politics (and his own) 
the educational authorities regarded him with some sus- 
picion, but eventually he obtained a post, at los. a week, 
as extra assistant-master of the day school at Gualtieri, near 
Reggio Emilia. 

Gualtieri is a wretched little place, and Mussolini — then 
eighteen — determined to get out of it as soon as he could. 
He would have emigrated to the United States, as so 
many of his countrymen did at the beginning of this cen- 
tury, if his family had had enough money to pay his pas- 
sage. Instead, he left for Switzerland, with only a couple 
of shillings in his pocket after buying his ticket for 

By the shores of Lake Leman he supported himself 
precariously, as a mason and as an odd-job man, taking 
whatever employment he could find that would enable 
him to attend the evening lectures on political science at 
Lausanne University. One of the lecturers was a com- 
patriot of his, from Forli, Professor Pascal Boninsegni, 
with whom Mussolini has ever since maintained a close 
friendship. It was from him, he said later, that he had 
"learned to distinguish between things as they are and 
things as one would wish them to be" — no doubt the 
best of all equipment for ambitious youth in any land 
or age. 

The world knows little of Mussolini's years in Switzer- 
land, and he is himself reticent on the subject. We know 
that, like Hitler, he was for some time penniless, and a 


wanderer, educating himself in life's hardest school. Both 
men were unsuccessful in the sense that their gifts were 
not such as to win them quick affluence, but neither has 
regretted the toughening he received in adolescence. Mus- 
solini often went hungry, as Hitler did, but he seems not 
to have suffered like Hitler, because he was strong, healthy, 
with plenty of Socialist friends and sympathizers. It was 
during this period that he went to Marseilles to organize 
a strike among the dockers there, and was expelled from 
France. When he returned to Switzerland, the police of 
Geneva, where he had established himself, discovered that 
he was a revolutionary, and expelled him from their canton. 
He was under a similar threat of expulsion from Lausanne 
(how one would like to know the details, but dictators are 
too busy making history to write it for the student of psy- 
chology!) when he decided to return to Italy in order to 
perform his military service. His Socialist friends, pacifists 
almost to a man, begged him to stay, but Mussolini craved 
for adventure. 

We see him, then, in 1904, in the green plumes of a 
rifleman, serving in the famous corps of Bersaglieri. He 
enjoyed the comradeship of the army, and indeed, with- 
out this training, who knows what course he might have 
steered? He was a violent, impulsive youth: the army 
gave him a sense of direction, and centered his thoughts 
on Italy. 

The unexpected death of his mother, while he was 
serving, affected him very deeply. As eldest son, he was 
excused the remainder of his training. His fortune was 
again at its ebb. He had neither money nor work. After 
a brief period in Predappio he obtained a post as French 
master at Oneglia. But here he again allowed politics to 
interfere with his prospects, and quarreled with the local 
Board of Education. Once more he traveled north, this 
time to the Trentino, where he at last found scope for his 


talent, for he was employed on an irredentist newspaper. 
Here he remained four years, with occasional journeys into 
Switzerland. Eventually an article urging the Italian claims 
to the Trentino caused the Austro-Hungarian police to expel 

When he returned to Italy in 1909, at the age of twenty- 
six, he was a journalist of experience, with an exceptional 
gift for vivid prose, a labor leader who had suffered for 
the cause, an exponent of dialectical materialism (for he 
had lived with Russian exiles in Geneva, and met Lenin), 
and was the author of two books, a biography of John 
Huss and a novel, the Cardinal's Mistress. With a good 
constitution and a prodigious memory, he was a very differ- 
ent man at twenty-six from the boy who had left Italy to 
seek his fortune at seventeen. His father, meanwhile, had 
given up his business as a blacksmith, for he was growing 
old, and had taken a public-house. The Lamb, on the out- 
skirts of Forli. The kitchenmaid was Rachele Agostini, a 
gracious, quiet, unassuming girl, whom Mussolini subse- 
quently married. 

His career was now set steadily toward political journalism, 
but as a revolutionary Socialist a living was still not easy 
to make. He translated Heine's Reisebilder into Italian, and 
canvassed Socialist friends in Forli until they helped him 
to start a weekly journal. The Class Struggle. From that day, 
in 1910, he never looked back. 

He had a gift for epigram, a twist of sardonic humor 
in his sentences. Soon he was known throughout Northern 
Italy as a brilliant critic of the Parliamentary regime and 
of the elderly politicians who blighted the aspirations of 
Italian youth in those days. Nor did he confine himself 
to writing. He was a bitter, effective debater, urging a 
creed of direct action. In Forli he led several riots, and 
was several times in the police court for creating a dis- 


The most serious of his quarrels with authority occurred 
in the autumn of 191 1 when Italy invaded Libya. Musso- 
lini, as a Socialist, objected to this Imperialist enterprise: 
he wanted a free and prosperous country, not a large, tyran- 
nical Empire. A strike began at Forli organized by Musso- 
lini, which lasted two days and was only suppressed by 
mounted police. He was arrested, tried, and condemned to 
a year's imprisonment. After five months, however, he re- 
ceived an amnesty. 

Soon afterwards, in the summer of 1912, he was appointed 
editor of the Avantil of Milan, the leading Socialist paper 
of Italy. Here, indeed, was success for a self-made man of 
twenty-nine. He threw himself with furious energy into his 
new task, and soon increased the circulation of the Avantil 
from 30,000 to 90,000 readers. 

One day we may know just when his enthusiasm for 
revolutionary Socialism began to wane. As a boy, taught 
by his idealistic mother and his uncompromising father, 
he had rebelled against the inefficiency of the existing 
Liberal Governments, and believed that Socialism might 
make a clean sweep of shams. But in Milan he was not 
so sure. The editor of a newspaper in a great industrial 
city sees many of the seamy sides of life; and must 
develop, if he is to be successful, a protecting mask of 
cynicism, however warm the heart beneath it. Mussolini is 
a student as well as a countryman of Machiavelli, and has 
learned the lesson of The Prince. In the early summer of 
1914, when a widespread Communist rising known as Red 
Week occurred in Italy, he watched the demonstrations 
in Ravenna and in Forli, at first with sympathy, but his 
eyes hardened when he saw the disorganization, the 
drunkenness, the destruction of property which followed 
on mob-rule. He realized that the masses needed a leader, 
and doubtless then determined that he would be that 
leader. Georges Sorel, the Labor veteran, wrote of him: 


"Our Mussolini is not an ordinary Socialist. Believe me, 
you will perhaps yet see him at the head of a sacred bat- 
talion, saluting with his uplifted sword the Italian flag. 
He is an Italian of the fifteenth century: the only energetic 
man capable of mending the weaknesses of his Govern- 
Prophetic words, fulfilled within ten years! 


The first Fasci di Comhattimento were founded by 
Mussolini and d'Annunzio in 19 14, as war groups to bring 
Italy to the side of the Allied Powers. The first Fascist 
meeting in Milan, of March 23rd, 1919, was a rededication 
of those who had worked for intervention, and a vow was 
then made that the fruits of victory should not be lost to 

"I called the organization Fasci Italiani di Combatti- 
mento,'' Mussolini told an audience later, "because this hard, 
metallic name included the whole programme of Fascism 
as I dreamed of it, as I wished it to be, and as I have 
made it." 

The fasces were bundles of rods for scourging criminals, 
with an ax in the center, carried by the lictors of ancient 
Rome, the attendants on the magistrates, whose symbol of 
authority they were. The tying together of the bundle into 
one represented the strength of unity, and the ax justice. 
The words Italiani and Combattimento denoted that Fascism 
was for Italians a racial doctrine, representing for them 
"the continuity of their stock and their history," and that 
it was a fighting creed, for "struggle is at the origin of all 

More definitely, in his article on Fascism in the Italian 
Encyclopedia, which should be read carefully by anyone 
who desires to understand the new Italy, Mussolini states: 


As far as concerns the future development of mankind, quite apart 
from all present-day political considerations, Fascism does not on 
the whole believe in the possibility or the utility of perpetual peace. 
War alone keys up all the energies of man to their greatest pitch, 
and sets the mark of nobility on those nations which have the bravery 
to face it. All doctrines which postulate peace at any price as their 
premise are incompatible with Fascism. Fascism carries this anti- 
pacifist attitude into the life of the individual. "Me ne jrego' ("I 
don't give a damn!"), scrawled on his bandages by a wounded man, 
became the motto of our Storm-Troopers, and it sums up a doctrine 
which is not merely political; it is the evidence of a fighting spirit 
which accepts all risks. It stands for a new mode of life of the 

Fascism is the resolute negation of the doctrine underlying so- 
called scientific and Marxian Socialism, the doctrine of historic ma- 
terialism which would explain the history of mankind in terms of 
the class struggle. Fascism believes now and always in sanctity and 
heroism — that is to say, in acts wherein no economic motive, im- 
mediate or remote, is at work. 

Besides attacking Socialism, Fascism points its guns at the whole 
block of democratic ideologies, and rejects both their premises and 
their practical application and methods. 

Democratic regimes may be described as those under which the 
people are deluded from time to time into the belief that they are 
exercising sovereignty, while all the time real sovereignty belongs to 
other forces, sometimes irresponsible and secret. Democracy is a king- 
less regime, infested by many kings. 

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of 
Liberalism, both in the political and in the economic sphere. The im- 
portance of Liberalism in the nineteenth century must not be exagger- 
ated for present-day controversial purposes, nor should we make out 
of one of the many theories which flourished in that century a re- 
ligion for all mankind. After tying itself up with innumerable Gordian 
knots, the "Liberal Century" tried to cut them with the sword of 
the world war. Never has any religion claimed a more cruel sacrifice. 
Now Liberalism is preparing to close the doors of its temples, for 
it has been deserted by the majority of the peoples of Europe, who 
feel that the agnosticism it professes in the sphere of economics, and 
the indifferentism of which it has given proof in the sphere of politics 
and ethics, will lead the world to ruin in the future as it has in 
the past. 

This explains why all the political experiments of our day are anti- 
Liberal; and, on this account, it is supremely ridiculous to endeavour 
to put them outside the pale of history, as though history were a pre- 


serve set aside for Liberalism and its adepts, as though Liberalism 
were the last word in civilization beyond which no man can go. 

A party wielding totalitarian rule over a nation is a new departure 
in history. There are no points of reference or comparison. From be- 
neath the ruins of Liberal, Socialist, and Democratic doctrines, Fascism 
recovers the elements which are still vital. It rejects the idea of a 
doctrine suited to all times and peoples. Political doctrines pass, 
nations remain. 

The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State. 
The State is absolute, individuals and groups are relative. 

The Fascist State is not a night-watchman, solicitous only of the 
personal safety of the citizens, nor is it organized exclusively for the 
purpose of guaranteeing a certain degree of material prosperity and 
relatively peaceful conditions of life; a board of directors could do 
that. The State guarantees the safety of the country at home and 
abroad, and it also safeguards and hands down the spirit of the 
people, elaborated through the ages in its language, its customs, its 

The State is not only the present, it is also the past, and above all 
the future. Transcending the individual's brief spell of life, the State 
stands for the inherent conscience of the nation. 

Never before have the nations thirsted for authority, direction, 
order, as they do now. If every age has its own doctrine, then number- 
less signs point out Fascism as the doctrine of our age. 

The conclusion is now out-of-date. The average citizen of 
Italy, as of Germany, has had his glut of authority, direction, 
and order, and would now like to drink his wine or beer in 
peace. Adults in totalitarian States are tired of hero-worship, 
and bored with propaganda. The pendulum is swinging, if 
not toward democracy as we know it, at least away from 

A Note on Hitler 


.DOLF Hitler's father, Alois, was the son of an itiner- 
ant miller, Johann Hiedler (for so the family spelled its 
name a hundred years ago), of the village of Spital, in 
Upper Austria, by a peasant woman named Maria Shickel- 
griiber. Alois must have been a boy of very enterprising 
temperament, for he ran away from home at the age of 
thirteen with a few shillings in his pocket, and made his 
living as a cobbler in Vienna, where also he managed to learn 
to read and write. 

When he was twenty-three he married his first wife, 
Anna Glasl-Horer, a woman of some means, who was 
fourteen years his senior. By her he had two children, 
Alois, Jr., and Angela, half-brother and half-sister of the 
German Chancellor. Alois had by now educated himself, 
and obtained a post in the Austro-Hungarian Customs Serv- 
ice at Braunau, on the German frontier. Anna died in 1883, 
and Alois almost immediately married again, but his second 
wife died within the year. His third wife, the Chancellor's 
mother, was pretty Klara Poelzl, a peasant girl from 
Spital, whose mother, Johanna, was a cousin of Johann 
Hiedler. So Klara was her husband's second cousin once 

The Chancellor's parents were a handsome pair; she, 
blonde, slender, with great, tender eyes and a sensitive 
face; he, a fine figure of a man, inclined to stoutness in 
later life, with bushy whiskers and a heavy mustache 
drooping over a powerful jaw. Both were of sound peasant 
stock, God-fearing, and ambitious in their way. Alois had 



risen from being a homeless boy to a respected Customs 
official. Klara had left Spital at an early age to see the world, 
earning her living by domestic service. Their first tv^o chil- 
dren died in infancy. Adolf, the eldest survivor, was born 
in a little house on the main street of Braunau-on-the-Inn, on 
April 20th, 1889, when his father was fifty-two and his 
mother twenty-nine years of age. Two other children were 
born after Adolf, Paula, who now lives in Vienna, and 
Edouard, who died in infancy. 

In 1896 Alois Hitler retired from the Customs Service, 
and the family went to live at the village of Leonding, 
near the cathedral town of Linz, in order to be near a good 
school for Adolf. Next year Paula was born, and her mother 
developed symptoms of an internal disease which proved to 
be cancer. 

Adolf, with his mischievous dark-blue eyes and perky 
face, was described in one of his school reports as "lazy 
and self-willed." The only subjects which interested him 
were history, drawing, and geography. Outside school hours 
he listened with absorbed attention to Professor Potsch, an 
active member of the German National Party, who used to 
tell the pupils how the birthright of the Austrians was being 
bartered for a mess of Slav pottage: the Emperor's heir had 
even married a Czech nobody. 

Alois Hitler wanted his son to follow him in his career 
as a Customs official, but Adolf flouted the notion: he hated 
office work and wanted to be an artist. Alois was very angry 
at this absurd suggestion, and for the last three years of his 
life the relations between father and son were strained. 
Alois died on a January morning, in 1903, of a heart attack, 
while reading the paper at the village inn. 

So Adolf and Paula, aged 14 and 7, were left with their 
mother, who already knew that she was dying. She moved 
to Linz, and lived there on her small pension with the two 


Adolf's lungs were delicate, and the doctor recom- 
mended that he should cease attending school and remain 
as much as possible in the open air. He sketched, talked 
politics, looked after his mother. In 1907 he went to Vienna, 
and applied for admission to the painting school of the 
State Academy; but the authorities gave him little encourage- 
ment; they suggested that his talent was architectural, and 
that he should apply for admission to the School of Archi- 
tecture. Here the Director showed interest in his work, and 
would have taken him as a pupil had he been able to pass 
the necessary examination. But how could Adolf pass any 
examination when he had roamed free as his own master for 
the last three years? 

At eighteen Adolf Hitler was a failure. His mother died 
in 1908, and with her death her pension ceased. The cot- 
tage was sold, and Adolf gave all the proceeds to Paula. 
Then he returned to Vienna and started to conquer the 
world from there, alone, penniless, untrained, with a strong 
aversion from any kind of work that did not interest him, 
an artist to his sensitive finger-tips. "The difficulties of life," 
he writes in Mei7i Kampf, "hardened my spirit and taught 
me how to live. I thank those days for the fact that I grew 
hard, and can be hard." He laid bricks, shoveled snow, 
learned the trade of a plasterer, broke his nails on the 
mason's hod. Often he went without food to find the 
money to hear Wagner or Mozart from the gallery of the 

I have seen, as everyone interested can see, the sketches 
which Hitler made a few years later, on the Western Front, 
during his intervals of leisure as a dispatch rider. It is easy 
to be wise after the event, but I feel that the Academy 
which rejected his work in 1907 must have been wrong, 
and failed, as academies often do, to recognize talent. To 
me his sketches have an instinct for line and proportion, 


and a sense of style which has now found its expression in 
the buildings and motor roads of the Third Reich, as well as 
in his speeches. 

In Vienna, in those days before the Great War, the idea 
occurred to him that he might earn more money by de- 
signing show-cards than by manual labor. This occupa- 
tion took him to all sorts of little shops in the poor parts 
of the city, and it was here that he learned to hate the 

He detested his life in this racial Babylon, this meeting- 
place for all the peoples of a ramshackle Empire. He noted 
the commercial cunning, the cosmopolitanism, the luxury 
and vice of the Imperial capital, and hated it with the 
intensity of a country boy, romantic by temperament, who 
had grown up sheltered by a mother's love. 

When he went to Salzburg to present himself for mili- 
tary training, he was rejected as unfit: he was half- 
starved, and had not yet outgrown the trouble in his 
lungs. In 1912, at the age of 23, and still a failure, he 
went to Munich to see whether the tradesmen of Bavaria 
would take more kindly than those of Vienna to his show- 

Politics, music, and visits to art galleries were his only 
amusements. Sometimes he took a glass of beer in those 
early days, while listening to a political discussion, but 
food and drink had no lure for him. Nor had sex. As 
far as is known (and his opponents have been diligent in 
their attempts to discover evidence that might be used 
against him, but with no success) he has never had any 
sex relations at all. Always his eyes were fixed on high 

When the Great War came he volunteered immediately 
for service in the German Army, and was enrolled as a 
volunteer in a Bavarian regiment. His official record of 


service repays careful examination, for it shows what fine 
service he gave his country: a service given by many others, 
it is true, who are unknown to fame, but never given save by 
men cast in a heroic mold. 

He saw thirty-six actions on the Western Front. From 
August i6th, 1914, to October 20th, 1918, when he was 
painfully blinded by gas, he had only two home leaves of 
a fortnight each, and a seven weeks' spell in hospital with 
shrapnel splinters in his leg. He was awarded the Iron 
Cross of the 2nd Class in December, 1914, and the Iron 
Cross of the ist Class in August, 1918. The latter dis- 
tinction (very rarely given to noncommissioned officers) 
he gained for capturing seven or eight enemy soldiers 
single-handed, and marching them back to his battalion 
headquarters at the point of his revolver. The date is 
noteworthy, for German morale was not high in August, 

Here is his full record of service, which I have translated 
from the Munich archives: 

No, yiii Lance-Corporal Adolf Hitler: 

Catholic, born at Branau, Upper Austria, on April 20th, 1889, 
artist-painter, of Schleissheimerstrasse 14/3, Munich, bachelor. 
Father, Alois Hitler, late Inspector of Customs at Linz, Austria. 
Mother, Klara Poelzl, both Catholics, both deceased. 

Hospital Record: 

Oct. 9th to Dec. ist, 1 916. Prussian Red Cross Hospital, Beelitz, 

wounded by shell splinter in left thigh. 
Oct. 15th to Oct. 1 6th, 191 8. Bavarian Field Hospital No. 53, 

Oudenarde, gas poisoning. 
Oct. 2ist to Nov. 19th, 191 8. Prussian Reserve Hospital, Pasew^alk, 

gas poisoning. 

Leave of Absence: 
Sept. 30th to Oct. 17th, 1917. Home leave. 
Aug 23rd to Aug. 30th, 19 1 8. Duty to Niirnberg. 
Sept. loth to Sept. 27th, 191 8. Home leave. 

APPENDIX m [375] 

Service Record: 
Aug. 1 6th, 19 14. Enlisted as a volunteer in the 6th Company of 

the I St Battalion of the 2nd Royal Bavarian Infantry Regiment 

(EHzabeth Barracks). 
Sept. ist, 1914. Transferred to the ist Company of Bavarian Re- 
serve Infantry Regiment No. 16 (Liszt Regiment). 
Oct. 2ist, 1914. Transferred to Field Service. 
Nov. ist, 1914. Appointed Lance-Corporal. 
Nov. 9th, 1914. Appointed to Company Headquarters Staff of ist 

Company Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 16. 
Oct. 27th, 1915. Transferred to the 3rd Company B.R.I.R. No. 16. 
Oct. 5th, 1916. Wounded at La Bargue and transferred to hospital. 
Dec. 3rd, 191 6. Left hospital, detailed to the 4th Company of the 

ist Substitute Battalion of the 2nd B.R.I.R. 
Mar. 5th, 1917. Field service with 3rd Company of B.R.I.R. No. 16. 
Oct. 15th, 19 1 8. Transferred to hospital with gas poisoning, from 

La Montague. 
Nov. 2ist, 1918. Left hospital, detailed to the 7th Company of ist 

Substitute Battalion of the 2nd B.R.I.R. 
Feb. i2th, 1919. Detailed to the 2nd demobilization company of 

the 2nd B.R.I.R. 
May loth, 1919. Detailed to the 7th demobilization company of 

the 2nd B.R.I.R. 
Mar. 31st, 1920. Demobilized. 

Decorations and Mentions: 

Dec. 2nd, 1914. Awarded Iron Cross, 2nd Class. 

Sept. 17th, 1917. Awarded Bavarian Military Medal, 3rd Class 

with bar. 
May 9th, 191 8. Cited in orders for distinguished conduct in the 

May 1 8th, 191 8. Cited in orders for distinguished conduct in the 

Aug. 4th, 1918. Awarded Iron Cross, ist Class. 
Aug. 25th, 191 8. Cited in orders for distinguished conduct in the 


Battles, 1914: 

Oct. 29th. Yser battle. 

Oct. 30th to Nov. 24th. Ypres battles. 

Nov. 25th to Dec. 13th. Front line trenches in Flanders. 

Dec. 14th to Dec. 24th. December battles in French Flanders. 


Battles, igiy. 

Dec. 25th, 19 14, to Mar. 9th. Front line trenches in French Flanders. 

Mar. loth to Mar. 14th. Third battle on Neuve Chapelle. 

Mar. 15th to May 8th. Front line trenches in French Flanders. 

May 9th to July 23rd. Batdes of La Bassee and Arras. 

July 24th to Sept. 24th. Front in French Flanders. 

Sept. 25th to Oct. 13th. Autumn battles at La Bassee and Arras. 

Battles, igi6: 

Oct. 14th, 1915, to Feb. 29th. Front in French Flanders. 
Mar. ist to June 23rd. Front in French Flanders and Artois. 
June 24th to July 7th. Reconnaissance and demonstration battles 

of the 6th Army in connection with the Somme Battle. 
July 8th to July i8th. Front in French Flanders. 
July 19th to July 20th. Battle of Fromelles. 
July 2 1 St to Sept. 25th. Front in French Flanders. 
Sept. 26th to Oct. 5th. Somme Battle. 

Battles, igiy: 
Mar. 5th to April 26th. Front in French Flanders. 
April 27th to May 20th. Spring battles of Arras. 
May 2ist to June 24th. Front in Artois. 
June 25th to July 21st. Flanders battle, first part. 
July 22nd to Aug. 3rd. Flanders battle, second part. 
Aug. 4th to Sept. 30th. Front in Alsace-Lorraine. 
Oct. 17th to Nov. 2nd. Rearguard action near Ailette. 

Battles, igi8: 

Nov. 3rd, 1917, to Mar. 25th. Front north of Ailette. 
Mar. 26th to April 6th. March offensive in France. 
April 7th to April 24th. Battle of Montdidier. 
April 28th to May 26th. Front north of Ailette. 
May 27th to June 13th. Battles of Soissons and Rheims. 
June 14th to June 30th. Front between the Oise and Marne. 
July 5th to July 14th. Front between the Oise and Marne. 
July 15th to July 17th. Attacks on Marne and in Champagne. 
July 1 8th to July 25th. Defence battle between Soissons and Rheims. 
July 26th to July 29th. Rearguard action between the Marne and 

Aug. 2ist to Aug. 23rd. Battles at Monchy and Bapaumc. 
Aug. 28th to Oct. 15th. Rearguard action in Flanders. 


Special Duties: 
Battalion bicyclist. 

Very good. 



March 31st, 1920, with no claims outstanding against the State. 

The Fall of the House of Benes 


/zecho-Slovakia might still exist, and we might never 
have been involved in the crisis of September, 1938, if 
the entirely reasonable demands of the Sudeten Germans 
formulated by Herr Henlein in April, 1938, had been con- 
ceded in time. That is my viev^, and it is quite likely I am 
wrong: it is a view of one of the "might-have-beens" of 
history, impossible of proof. It is not without interest, how- 
ever, even if the interest be somewhat academic, to recall 
the circumstances which led the Czechs to lose the Sudeten- 

When I was in Prague last May, I went to the Exhibition 
of Baroque Art. It was enchanting. Those ecstatic angels 
with quififs, and those buxom, laughing maidens — espe- 
cially the one with a rising sun carved on her breast — 
displayed a terrific vital energy, a will to achieve the impossi- 
ble, which was attractive and impressive, and made one want 
to learn more about the Baroque movement. But the only 
available catalogue of the Exhibition was in Czech, a lan- 
guage that not one in a hundred foreign visitors can speak. 
Yet the greater part of the sculpture was German. That 
was a measure of Czech stupidity in dealing with their racial 

"Many of the acts of persecution complained of are 
almost incredibly petty," wrote a Times correspondent 
regarding the Sudetenland, "but this very quality serves 
to enhance their power of breeding bitterness." German 
railway time-tables were confiscated because they bore 
the swastika. An old Sudeten official was deprived of 



his pension of £<, a. month because he had christened 
his son Horst Wenzel, which was considered too like that 
of the Nazi martyr, Horsst Wessel. The unfortunate 
father, however, had been thinking only of good King 
Wenceslas. ... I heard also of a Sudeten German post- 
master who was deprived of his position as being "un- 
reliable" when it was found that he had visited his mother 
in Dresden four times in the last nine years. No other charge 
was proved or even made against him. He was not physically 
maltreated, but had he been murdered his relations could 
hardly have hated the Czechs more. 

Czechs and Germans have lived together and quarreled 
together in Bohemia and Moravia for the past 1,500 years. 
Under the Austro-Hungarian Empire the Czechs conspired 
continually to gain their freedom. Some would have been 
content with autonomy, but many of them, notably Dr. 
Masaryk and his disciple. Dr. Eduard Benes, hoped always 
that some turn of Fate would give them the opportunity 
to establish an independent republic. Dr. Benes is still 

History is still ignorant of the role played by the Lodges 
of the Grand Orient in Prague, Berlin, and Paris in the 
drama whose first act ended with the murder of the 
Archduke Francis Joseph and his morganatic Czech wife 
at Serajevo; but it is generally believed that certain 
Lodges* had condemned the Archduke to death in 1913. 
The World War which resulted from this murder was the 
chance that Dr. Masaryk and Dr. Benes had long 
awaited. Three Czech regiments in the Austro-Hungarian 
army deserted bodily to their Slav kinsfolk during 1914. 
Thereafter, under the guidance and inspiration of Dr. Benes 

* English Freemasonry has nothing to do with international or any other 

politics. It does not recognize the Grand Orient; and forbids the discussion 

of political affairs in any Lodge under the Constitution of the Free and 
Accepted Masons of England. 


and Lieutenant (now General) Sirovy, mutiny and deser- 
tion became frequent, and 50,000 Czechs joined the 
Allied Powers. Meanwhile other Czechs worked for the 
disintegration of the Central Powers from within. In 
the United States, Dr. Masaryk won the support of his 
emigre compatriots, and he gained also the ear of Presi- 
dent Wilson by skillful flattery, so that five months before 
the end of the World War he had obtained numerous 
wealthy and influential Czech and Slovak signatories to the 
famous Pittsburgh Agreement of May 30th, 191 8, by which 
the Czechs and Slovaks agreed to form a Czecho-Slovak 

While the frontiers of Bohemia were being discussed 
at Versailles, the Sudeten Germans held a plebiscite, and 
voted by an overwhelming majority to rejoin Austria. 
(It will be remembered that Austria at this time also 
voted by an overwhelming majority to become part of 
Germany.) It is hardly surprising, therefore, that this 
people, which wanted to be German in 1919, should be 
of the same mind in 1938. The only matter for surprise 
is that anyone should have thought otherwise, and that 
it would be possible to induce Germans, Poles, Hungarians, 
and Ruthenians to submit permanently to the inferior 
position to which they were relegated by the rude 
and arrogant Czechs. (As to the Slovaks, they were soon 
to discover that the autonomy promised them by the 
Pittsburgh Agreement existed only on paper.) The late 
Dr. Masaryk, however, may be absolved from the inclu- 
sion of the Sudetens in Czecho-Slovakia, for in Paris he 
advised the French that they should be returned to the 
Weimar Republic. "Certainly not," said the French. "You 
must have them! They were part of the ancient king- 
dom of Bohemia, and where would your frontiers be 
without the Sudeten highlands?" All that the statesmen 


of the victorious Powers wanted was an excuse to encircle 

A memorandum (here abbreviated) presented by Dr. 
Benes to the Allied Powers in Paris on May 20th, 1919, shows 
clearly what the idealists hoped that Czecho-Slovakia might 
become. It was never made public, for its promises were 
never kept, until it was printed in Berlin in 1937 by the 
Institute for Foreign and Racial Justice: 

It is the intention of the Czecho-Slovak Government to create the 
organization of the State by accepting as a basis of national rights 
the principles applied in the constitution of the Swiss Republic — that 
is, to make the Czecho-Slovak* Republic a sort of Sw^itzerland, tak- 
ing into consideration, of course, the special conditions in Bohemia. 

Schools will be maintained by the State, throughout its territory, 
from the public funds, and will be established for the various nation- 
alities in all the communes where the number of children, legally 
ascertained, prove the necessity of establishing such schools. 

All public offices, in which, in principle, the languages will have 
equal value, will be open to the various nationalities inhabiting the 

The Courts will be mixed, and Germans will have the right to 
plead before the highest Courts in their own language. 

The local administration (of communes and "circles") will be 
carried on in the language of the majority of the population. 

Not one of these promises was ever carried out. For 
twenty years the Sudeten Germans protested that German 
schools were neglected, that Czech and not German officials 
were appointed in German districts, that Germans could 
not plead in their own language in the High Courts, 
and that nothing even faintly resembling the Swiss sys- 
tem was introduced, or even contemplated, in Czecho- 

The League of Nations did not remedy any of the 
injustices brought to its notice. Twenty-two complaints 

* The hyphen should be noted. Soon the Slovaks had cause to complain 
that their country was no longer spelled with a capital letter, but merged into 



were made by the Sudeten Germans between 1920 and 1930, 
and about a dozen from Hungarians, Slovaks, and Ruthenes; 
none of them was inquired into on the spot or brought to 
the notice of the Supreme Council in Geneva. 

By 193 1 the economic distress in the Sudeten districts 
had reached shocking proportions : unemployment was three 
and a half times higher than in Czech districts of Czecho- 
slovakia, and their death-rate and suicide-rate were the 
highest in Europe. 

In districts with 80 per cent of Germans, Czechs were 
given 80 per cent of all public orders and commissions. 
Thus at Schreckenstein, when a dam was being built in a 
region inhabited by 102,000 Germans out of 129,000 in- 
habitants, 90 per cent of the workmen employed were 
Czechs, depriving the German community of some ;r65,ooo 
of public money, which should have been spent on relieving 
German unemployment. 

More than 1,853,000 acres of forests, pasture, and arable 
land were taken from the Sudeten Germans as a conse- 
quence of the Land Reform Act of 1920, and more than 
60,000 Sudeten German owners and workers lost their live- 
lihoods in consequence. In the Sudeten districts roads were 
built by Czech laborers, so that Sudeten unemployed were 
forced to stand idle, seeing strangers earn wages that should 
have gone to them. 

According to the Census of 1921, Czecho-Slovakia com- 
prised the following nationalities: 

Czechs 6,840,000 inhabitants or 48.0 per cent of population 

Germans 3,218,000 " 24.3 *' " 

Slovaks 1,179,000 " 14.7 " " 

Hungarians . . 800,000 " 5.9 *' " 

Ruthenians . . . 500,000 " 3.7 " " 

Jews 200,000 " 1.5 " ** 

Others 270,000 " 1.9 " " 

13,007,000 lOO.O 


The Census taken in 1930, when Czech rule was more 
firmly established, gives the following figures: 

Czechs 7,406,493 inhabitants or 51.25 per cent of population 

Germans .... 3,231,688 " 22.25 

Slovaks 2,282,277 " 1575 

Hungarians . 691,923 " 4.75 

Ruthenians . . 549,169 " 3.75 

Jews 168,642 " 1.25 

Others 131^373 " i-oo 

14,461,565 100.00 

The Czechs, therefore, if they were a majority at all in 
Czecho-Slovakia, which is doubtful, were only a very small 

According to these statistics, the Sudetens should have 
had a right to at least 22 per cent of public offices. In 
1921 there were 26,460 Sudeten railway officials; in 1930 
there were only 14,016, a reduction of 47 per cent. In 
1921 there were 10,022 Sudeten post-office officials; in 
1930 there were only 5,897, a reduction of 41 per cent. 
In 1921 there were 41 district governors of German origin 
and 20 of Czech origin in the Sudeten districts; in 193 1 
there were 58 Czech district governors and only 8 German 
district governors. More than 40,000 Sudeten-German officials 
lost their positions during the nineteen years of Czech rule 
in Bohemia. 

In 1937 an attempt was made — I believe a sincere attempt 
— by Dr. Benes and his Prime Minister, Dr. Hodza (himself 
a Slovak), to remedy this disproportion between the officials 
of the two races; but the Czech nationalist organizations in 
Prague — notably the Narodne Jednota — proved too strong 
for the conciliators. 

"We would like to trust the Czechs," a spokesman of 
Herr Henlein told me, "but one must judge by results, and 
after twelve months' talk no progress has been made. For 
instance, in Katerinaburg, where there are 1,544 Sudetens 


and 33 Czechs, the last Sudeten official was pensioned on 
March ist of this year (1938). His successor is a 

"In Winterschau, where 75 per cent of the population are 
Sudetens, the last Sudeten postman has just been retired 
on pension. His successor is a Czech. 

"In Komotau, whose population is also 75 per cent 
Sudeten, the only change in the proportion of officials during 
the last four years has been the appointment of four new 

And so on. Much the League of Nations cared! 

During my visit in March, 1938, I saw with my own 
eyes that everywhere the Narodne Jednota had pursued its 
work of "Czechization" with ruthless efficiency. Karlsbad 
and Marienbad, thriving cure resorts before the Great War, 
were ghosts of their former selves, and Teplitz-Schonau, 
another watering-place, was half-desolate. It was snowing 
when I left Teplitz and drove through the bleak industrial 
neighborhood of Dux. There I saw factory after factory 
deserted, with broken windows, like the eye-sockets of a 
skull, and indeed they were the corpses of industries killed 
in this racial quarrel. 

Men and women looked haggard with hunger, and chil- 
dren were blue with cold. Many families dwelt in caves, 
cubby-holes, shacks. Some made a living by scraping coal 
from the frozen earth. Sad-eyed, shivering dogs lay waiting 
under the miners' tattered coats to draw the coal-sledges to 
the nearest town. 

The stark misery I saw here was worse than that in 
South Wales during the depression. The only comparable 
scene in my experience was famine, again among Ger- 
mans, on the Volga in 1931. But that was summer. Here 
it was snowing, and the sky dark with the promise of harder 


I returned to Prague on May 23rd5 just after the Czech 
mobiHzation, which had brought Europe to the brink of 
war. Shares in the Skoda factories had fallen by ;ri a share 
in a few hours, and speculators in calamity had made 
handsome profits on the curb market near the Wilson 

Motor-bicyclists stood ready at all Government offices. 
Detachments of troops were marching through the streets. 
The atmosphere was tense, but the daily life of Prague 
went on much as usual. Statues on the old bridge were 
being regilded in preparation for the celebrations of 
twenty years of independence. A bevy of schoolgirls 
went singing through the streets to the Hrad, the castle 
where the Austrian ambassadors were defenestrated three 
hundred years ago, and where Dr. Benes was then 

Rumor was rife (and I believe rumor spoke true) that 
the Chief of the General Staff, General Krejci, had ordered 
the mobilization of the army against the advice of the 
Prime Minister, but with the consent of the President, 
Dr. Benes. 

M. Gabriel Peri, the French Communist, who was in 
Prague during these fateful days, was one of the authors 
of the statement that Germany had mobilized. Another 
agent who spread this untrue story appears to have been a 
member of the British Secret Service reporting to Vienna, 
where, unfortunately, our information often came from 
sources tainted by racial hate. 

The truth is that at this time Germany did not move 
a man or a gun toward the Czech frontier. Subsequently 
this was admitted even by Left- Wing writers, who ex- 
plained that it was "a partial and secret mobilization," 
displaying thereby either their ignorance of military 
matters or their contempt for the intelligence of their 
readers. Why should Germany order a partial and secret 


mobilization, and how could it have been secret? None 
of the recent mobilizations have been secret. It w^ould 
have shaken the regime to the core to have assembled an 
army and then disbanded it in face of the Czechs. Indeed 
the idea is fantastic, a typical Comintern canard. When 
Germany did contemplate invasion, and the w^orld v^ar 
that might have followed, an army of a million men stood 

Incontestably the Czech General Staff, and Dr. Benes, 
must have known on Friday, May 20th, that Germany 
had not mobilized. Yet they called up a considerable part 
of the Czech reserves and all their specialists, and sent 
them under war conditions into the Sudeten zones. The 
conclusion is inescapable: Dr. Benes hoped that his action 
would lead either {a) to a German mobilization which 
would have summoned France and Russia to his aid, or 
(^) to some incident on the part of the Sudeten Germans 
which would have entitled him to take severe repressive 
measures against them. 

The week-end passed in intense anxiety. Our Ambas- 
sador in Berlin was warned to prepare for the worst. Gas- 
masks were issued to the citizens of Prague. A Czech 
policeman shot two Sudeten Germans traveling near the 
frontier. Czech airplanes flew over German territory. Czech 
soldiers erected barricades, cut down trees, and estab- 
lished themselves under war conditions in peaceful Sudeten 

I have just been through the Sudeten districts [I telephoned to the 
Observer'\, and wish that those who say that the unfortunate people 
here are "the best-treated minority in Europe," could have come with 
me to Brux, Dux, Komotau, and seen the Czech troops swarming 
over the countryside. 

Yesterday I left Prague by car for the north-west. Leitmaritz is full 
of armed men, but this town is on the border of Czech-German terri- 
tory, where military preparations do not do any great harm. But 


beyond, in the German towns and villages, troops are bringing dismay 
and distress, if not panic among an extremely well-behaved population. 

At Aussig, which is purely German, the new ;^ 250,000 bridge is 
guarded by Czech soldiers; a dynamite charge is affixed below the 
girders at the southern end, and there is a notice to passers-by not to 
linger at the toll-gate. Many other bridges and roads are mined. On 
the way to Dux I came upon troops laying an explosive charge, while 
the local inhabitants looked on in amazement and disgust, for the 
digging entailed suspension of traffic and a long detour. 

I have before me a sheaf of records of aggression by Czech soldiers 
and police against civilians in the Sudeten German areas. To describe 
these in detail is unnecessary. Given the tension that exists and the 
fact that an alien army cannot but make its presence disagreeably felt, 
these sworn statements, attested by photographs and medical certifi- 
cates, must be accepted by any reasonable man. The mercury of racial 
hate is mounting, and if it reaches boiling-point there must be an 

Until the army is withdrawn it will be impossible to discuss a 
settlement in a calm atmosphere. 

In England the householder knows little about billeting 
unless he went to France in the Great War. But on the 
Continent people know that even the best-disciplined soldiers 
cause a great deal of trouble and inconvenience, gladly 
borne when they are one's own army, but a pest when they 
are foreigners. 

On April 24th, 1938, Herr Henlein, the Sudeten German 
leader, speaking at Karlsbad, made the following "Eight 
Demands" to the Czecho-Slovak Government: 

1. Full equality of status between Czechs and Germans. 

2. Recognition of the Sudeten Germans as a legal entity within 
the State. 

3. Determination of the boundaries of the Sudeten German areas 
within the Czecho-Slovak State. 

4. Full self-government for these German areas. 

5. Legal protection for every citizen living outside the region of 
his own nationality. 

6. Removal of the injustices inflicted in 191 8 and reparations for 
the injuries caused thereby. 

7. Recognition of the principle: German regions, German officials. 

8. Full liberty to profess German nationality and German political 


These demands met with little response on the Czech 
side. I tried to go over them, point by point, with the 
chief of the Ministry of Information in Prague, but was 
answered by exasperating equivocations. "We cannot permit 
the State to be undermined," I was told. "It would be 
impossible to co-operate with a Nazi party in a free country 
such as ours. We have powerful friends and neighbours, who 
are as determined as we are to preserve democracy in this 
part of the world. . . ." Preserving democracy! The Czechs 
propounded various schemes — a Nationalities Statute, a 
Language Bill, and an Administrative Reform Bill — to stave 
off the integral solution proposed by Henlein, which was 
the only solution that might have saved Czecho- 

At this time (July, 1938) Prague was the headquarters of 
the following anti-Nazi groups : 

The Communist Information Bureau for Central Europe. 

The Central Committee of the Communist Party for Czecho- 

Executive of Czecho-Slovakian Red Aid. 

Central European Headquarters of the Friends of the U.S.S.R. 

Central Committee of the German Communist Party. 

Central Committee of the Polish Communist Party, which pub- 
lished the Novy Przeglad, and smuggled it regularly into Poland. 

Training Centers for German, Roumanian, Bulgarian, and Yugo- 
slavian Schools of Communist Propaganda. 

These organizations were assiduous in spreading the 
idea that the Russians possessed a gigantic force, aimed 
like a pistol at the heart of Germany, with an army of 
1,350,000 men at peace strength, backed by 17,500,000 
reserves, 10,000 airplanes, and 3,000 tanks. It is true that 
events revealed of what stuff the feet of this Colossus were 
made, but at the time its nuisance value was high. "We 
need Czecho-Slovakia," said M. Cot, the late French Air 
Minister and friend of Bolshevik Russia, "because German 


economy and German industry could best be destroyed from 
this State." 

In 1935 the German Government obtained a list of secret 
agents reporting to Prague, which led to the arrest of 500 
Communists in Germany and 50 in Yugoslavia. In the 
streets and restaurants of the Czecho-Slovak capital I no- 
ticed the same deterioration in morals as had accompanied 
the Social Democratic regime in pre-Nazi Germany: in 
almost every bookseller's v^indow appeared magazines such 
as Plaisirs de Paris, Sex-Appeal, and Venus, "le journal le 
plus ose." 

Soon after Lord Runciman went to Prague, it was an- 
nounced that German Army maneuvers would be on a 
larger scale than usual: more than 1,000,000 men would be 
under arms by September 15th, and 400,000 workmen were 
already employed on defense works opposite the French 
Maginot Line. 

The Germans had seen the weakness of our position, not 
the strategical weakness, which any retired major with an 
atlas could discern, but the moral weakness of the Franco- 
Soviet pact, and the impossibility of trying permanently 
to keep the Sudeten Germans from their Fatherland by 
force of arms. 

On August i2th, while Lord Runciman was bridging 
the gap which divided the demands of the Sudeten leaders 
from the concessions offered by the Czechs, the Associa- 
tion of Czecho-Slovakia Officers published a manifesto in 
the Weel^y Military Gazette of Prague, which showed that 
whatever the politicians might say about concessions, the 
Czech chauvinists were spoiling for a light. 

"In full consciousness of our responsibility," they declared, 
"and determined to carry out Masaryk's last will, we officers, 
who are the first to face death, claim the right to raise a 


warning voice : the authority of the State must in no circum- 
stances be narrowed, undermined, or lowered: no longer by 
single action or a single word. We may die, but we cannot 
fall back by a yard, or even a foot." 

These officers were reprimanded, but not otherwise pun- 
ished. Every War Office in Europe began to overhaul its 
mobilization schemes. 

'rr 'vF fff 

In October, 1938, when the German troops marched 
into the Sudetenland, pitiable stories of refugees flying 
from the "German Terror" filled our newspapers, and 
were doubtless true in part, although the implications 
were wrong, and sometimes malicious. A Communist, 
for example, who had for years intrigued with the Czech 
authorities against the Sudeten Nazis would certainly be 
terrified of the retribution that might befall him. Hard- 
ships there were, but what of the hardships of the Sudeten 
population? The Lord Mayor of London opened a fund 
for the refugees, and ;C35o,ooo was subscribed within a 
month. But not a penny could I have raised — nor any better 
writer — for the half-starved Sudeten children whom I saw 
in the neighborhood of Teplitz-Schonau in March, 1938 
— children whose families had been forbidden, three months 
previously, to receive Christmas presents from their rela- 
tions in Germany, since that would have been "Nazi propa- 

# # # 

When Dr. Benes resigned, on October 5th, 1938, after 
some very plain speaking on the part of some of his own 
countrymen. Lord Cecil, Lord Lytton, and Dr. Gilbert 
Murray telegraphed to him: "The League of Nations Union 
begs to express its profound admiration for your Excellency's 
dignified and heroic attitude during intolerable trials; sees 


ill your resignation the tragic end of a most noble achieve- 
ment; has confidence in the indestructible vitality of the 
Czech people; and knov^s that your Excellency v^ill keep 
forever a high place in the heart of all v^ho have know^n 
you, and in the pages of history." 

Dignity, yes; but "tragic end of a noble achievement"? 
As a private citizen. Dr. Benes deserves respect, but did these 
upholders of peace and democracy hope that he v^ould 
continue to rule over the Sudetens for another tv^enty 
years ? 

A Note on Pacifism 


ooKiNG at Southeastern Europe as it is to-day, one 
would like to ask some representative pacifist (if such there 
be, for most of them have their ov^n 'doxy) hov^^ the decrepit 
old Turkish Empire could have been transformed into the 
present progressive Balkan countries except by force, or the 
threat of force. 

I would not reopen the subject of pacifism here, for I 
have already written a book on the subject, if the question 
were not so much in the air to-day. To-day, with the 
plain necessity before us of conscription — call it by what 
name we will — it seems that many of us still hold to the 
fatal fallacy that, although we acquired our Empire by force, 
we are entitled to maintain it by a general agreement 
between the nations of the world that anyone who questions 
our position shall be regarded as a criminal. Pacifists believe 
that we can come to some arrangement by which our 
frontiers shall be guaranteed in perpetuity. It is impossible, 
and a very dangerous delusion. Having vast possessions, 
we must be prepared to shed our blood in their defense. 
Our own blood. Unless we are prepared to do so, we shall 
go the way of others who have flinched from paying the 
price of Empire. 

Far from being a policy of war, this constant and never- 
ceasing military preparedness which I advocate is an in- 
surance for peace. It was the pacifists who brought us, step 
by step, beginning with the Peace Ballot of 1935, to the very 
brink of war. If we had not disarmed, we should not be in 
peril to-day. 



One kind of pacifist is he — or often she — who is so afraid 
of any nation except ourselves becoming powerful that he 
— or she — wants us to fight them immediately, to prevent 
anyone but ourselves becoming big and strong. The others 
are not to be trusted. That is the policy of the geo-political 
romantics, who see everything in terms of strategical en- 
circlement; and they are indistinguishable from the British 
and German Imperialists of 1914. Let us hope that the 
world has grown wiser since then. 

Then there are other pacifists who will not see (even 
to-day) that unless we are prepared to fight we must 
become slaves. Preparation includes a martial spirit in 
causes which we believe just. What those causes are is a 
matter of opinion; but there is no way (except Mr. 
Gandhi's nonresistance) in which we can defend the right 
unless we are ready to die for it, and cause others to die — 
i.e., to kill those who do not agree with us. A tedious 
truism, this, but one that should be repeated until it is 
remembered in modern England. War must not be 
undertaken lightly; but if it be undertaken at all, then 
armaments and alliances are useless without the human 
will behind them. Let us beware of the leaven of the 
Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. The self-righteous attitude 
of those who refuse to bear arms themselves, but will 
allow others to risk their lives on their behalf, is simply 

Some pacifists, I freely admit, are genuine idealists (the 
Quakers, for instance), but it seems to me that the wide 
influence of the Peace Pledge Group (now opposing even 
the Voluntary Register), and the attitude of mind of the 
persons who answered the questionnaire of the Peace 
Ballot of 1935, reveal a shocking confusion in the public 
mind. A confusion that must be cleared before we can be 
true to ourselves and to our friends. 

Only a few years ago — up to 1937 indeed — the "full 


pacifist position" seemed to be making headway in Eng- 
land. Perhaps it still is, for it is ably advocated by Miss 
Rose Macaulay, Mr. Lansbury, Dr. Raven, Lord Ponsonby, 
Mr. Aldous Huxley, and other equally distinguished peo- 
ple, v^ho have gathered to their cause a large foUov^ing. 
John Bull is a lazy chap intellectually: he feels — or felt 
until recently — that these good people mean v^ell, and that 
they deserve sympathy in their efforts to prevent wslt. The 
Peace Pledge Group began v^ith a flying start. Fev^ people 
bothered to argue with it. 

In Dorchester, one of the cities which provides our 
army with some of its finest soldiers, Dick Sheppard and 
George Lansbury held a pacifist meeting in 1937. For 
months afterwards recruiting dropped away almost to 
nothing. Was it surprising that Dorset boys hesitated to 
enlist when a great preacher and a respected politician — 
uncontradicted by persons of equal weight — told them 
that it was not only foolish to fight for one's country, but 
wicked ? 

Dick Sheppard was a saint. In another age he would 
have founded an Order. Even to-day his witness to Christ 
remains a flame in the hearts of men, and I am proud to 
remember that we were friends. He did an immense 
amount of good in the world, but some of his ideas, like 
the ideas of other great men, were dynamite, and pro- 
ductive of evil. His pacifism, in so far as it took root, was 
poison in the mind of England. 

Does it ever occur to the extreme pacifists that in the 
event of war they will imperil other lives besides their 
own? Do they ever reflect that their attitude is not only 
Pharisaical, but in absolute contradiction to the principles 
of democracy ? 

If the members of the Peace Pledge Group were an 
obscure sect of fanatics, we might let them stew in their 
own juice. But there are 100,000 of them, or more, and 


they are led by some of the cleverest people in England. 
Either their views are outrageous nonsense or they are 
not. There is no middle position. Either wc must alter 
our v^hole outlook on life and try to remodel the w^orld, 
or else it is the duty of Christian men to bear arms upon 
certain occasions. The Prayer Book says that such is our 

We should meet these pacifist idealists — these blind 
guides that strain at a gnat and sv^allov^ a camel — on their 
ow^n ground and confute them. 

Personally, I have no doubt that the teaching of Christ 
supports my viev^. When He healed the servant of the 
Centurion (Matt. viii. and Luke vii.) He praised the 
latter for his faith. There was no word of disapproval of 
the profession of a soldier, yet we know that He was not 
sparing of His condemnation of other officials. He tells 
us that He came not to send peace on earth, but a sword. 
He speaks of the strife of kings in a parable, and recom- 
mends His disciples to sell their shirts (Luke xxii. 36) in 
order to obtain weapons. It is true that after Peter had 
struck off the ear of the servant of the High Priest He 
told His disciple that "all they that take the sword shall 
perish with the sword" (Matt. xxvi. 52). But these words 
related obviously to the particular circumstances of the 
moment, as also did His counsel to "turn the other 
cheek." Here, in the hours before His crucifixion, He 
had expressly commanded His disciples to arm them- 
selves; we do not know the reason, but we may infer that 
He desired their safety. Himself He would not save, and 
He healed the hurt of Malchus by His touch; but it is 
clear from what has gone before that there were circum- 
stances in which He would have fought. He would have 
fought to save others, had the Jews assaulted His 
disciples and not Himself. And in the Temple, with His 
whip of small cords, overturning the tables of the money- 


changers and the traffickers in doves, he was certainly not 
a pacifist. 

Extreme pacifists repudiate violence in all circumstances, 
in direct contradiction, as far as I can see, to Christ's teach- 
ing. They preach a fallacy v^hich crops up again and 
again through history, whenever the Devil creeps into the 
councils of the intellectuals. But if we are too sluggish to 
answer and uproot these satanic ideas, they will one day 
spread through our English garden and choke our finest 

In the Peace Ballot pacifists of a cooler but perhaps more 
dangerous kind attempted to make the British public say 
that it would fight for the League of Nations. 

For the first time in history [we are told]* the British people 
had the opportunity of making themselves heard on a first-class issue 
above party politics. Lord Cecil had the necessary courage and vision 
to take the initiative. He was confident that the League had the 
strong support of an overwhelming majority of the British people. 
The weathercock of articulate opinion whirled in the winds of con- 
trary propagandas, and the still, small voice of John Smith and Mary 
Brown remained inaudible. ... If our democracy is a true democ- 
racy, John Smith and Mary Brown, and the sum of their opinionSj 
are the things that matter. They are the rock upon which the fabric 
of our Government is based. Upon their response all advance ulti- 
mately depends. 

The questions asked of John Smith and Mary Brown, 
and their answers, were as follows: 

1. Should Great Britain remain a member of the League 
of Nations? 

"Yes" votes, 11,090,387. "No" votes, 355,883. Abstentions 
and doubtful answers, 112,895. 

2. Are you in favor of an all-round reduction of arma- 
ments by international agreements? 

* The Peace Ballot: the Official History, by Dame Adelaide Livingstone, 
in collaboration with Marjorie Scott Johnston, GoUancz, 1935. 


"Yes" votes, 10,470,489. "No" votes, 862,775. Abstentions 
and doubtful answers, 225,901. 

3. Are you in favor of an all-round abolition of 
national military and naval aircraft by international 

"Yes" votes, 9,533,558. "No" votes, 1,689,786. Abstentions 
and doubtful votes, 335,821. 

4. Should the manufacture and sale of armaments for 
private profit be prohibited by international agreement? 

"Yes" votes, 10,417,329. "No" votes, 775,415. Abstentions 
and doubtful answers, 366,421. 

5. Do you consider that if a nation insists on attaching 
another, the other nations should combine to compel it to 
stop by (a) economic and nonmilitary measures, (b) // 
necessary, military measures? 

"Yes" votes for ia)^ 10,027,608. "No" votes, 635,074. 
Abstentions and doubtful answers, 896,483. 

"Yes" votes for {b), 6,784,368. "No" votes, 2,351,981. 
Abstentions and doubtful answers, 2,422,816. 

It is strange to remember, when we look into these 
figures, that they were considered at the time to be "an 
overwhelming vote in favor of the League of Nations." 
The reader can analyze the voting for himself and form 
his own opinion as to the value of a question such as, 
"Are you in favor of a reduction of armaments?" Indeed, 
it is astonishing that 1,088,676 votes should be against such 
a measure, or doubtful of its value. 

But what are we to think of the vote on the only really 
controversial point on which John Smith and Mary 
Brown were asked their opinion — namely, whether they 
were prepared to fight for the League of Nations? 
Whether, in fact, they were prepared to carry out the 
promises which the British Empire had already made, on 


their behalf, to support the League by military sanctions 
if necessary. 

In 1935 there were 28,288,076 voters in the United King- 
dom, of whom 22,001,837 voted in the General Election in 
that year. All must have heard of the Peace Ballot, which 
received enormous publicity; and all who wished to vote 
in it could have done so, for there was no necessity to go 
to a polling booth for the ballot; the papers were brought 
to one's door by enthusiastic volunteers. Under these cir- 
cumstances 16,688,911 persons did not vote at all (among 
them I). If to this number be added the "Noes," the 
abstentions, and the doubtful answers of those who voted, 
there were 21,463,708 people against supporting the League 
by military sanctions to 6,784,368 in favor — that is, 66 per 
cent majority against the League of Nations as at present 

But even without counting the refusals the results show 
that only 58.6 per cent of the 11,599,165 people who 
answered the questionnaire were in favor of military 
sanctions, and 41.4 per cent against. How could any 
country embark on serious sanctions with at least four 
people out of ten (in reality about four people out of 
every five) against the policy of making such measures 
effective ? 

The Peace Ballot made a lot of noise and did incal- 
culable harm, for it frightened the Government into an 
impossible position over Abyssinia. Lord Cecil was quite 
wrong, of course, in believing that he had "the strong 
support of an overwhelming majority of the British 
people"; but somehow or other the impression was created 
that he had. 

Somehow, also, the impression has been created that we 
in England are more interested in the troubles of refugees 
from Eastern Europe than in our own unemployed; but 


that also is not true. Much of what we print is not true, or 
at any rate not representative of the British people. 

And are the opinions of 12,000,000 John Smiths and 
Mary Browns really and truly "the rock upon which the 
fabric of our Government is based"? I think not. What 
is important is that our decisions should be honest, and 
based on justice and Christianity. I do not think that 
the decision of 20,000,000 or 40,000,000 people on a com- 
plicated issue of foreign policy — such as how far can we 
support Poland — is a firm rock on which to base the 
existence of our Empire. Democracy, in my view, must 
be guided by its chosen leaders, who have, or ought to 
have, special knowledge. But these leaders are inevitably 
swayed by the Press, which makes public opinion, so that 
it is the newspapers, not the politicians, who are the real 
rulers of this country. This is a most unsatisfactory posi- 
tion. One would like to see democracy much more care- 
fully and scientifically defined than it has yet been — by 
Lord Baldwin, for instance, or by Professor Ernest Barker 
— before one can assent to the proposition that progress 
depends on John Smith and Mary Brown. The noble 
periods of orators and the panegyrics of professors who 
label as democracy all that is fair and of good report re- 
mind one of Tennyson's "Freedom free to slay herself, and 
dying whilst they shout her name." 



Publisher's Note 

The material in the following section was 
prepared especially for the American edi- 
tion of European Jungle by Major Francis 
Yeats-Brown on October 50, ig^g, and has 
been included at his request. 

•»>- >» - >» -» > - »> ' >» - >» - ») - »> - »> - >» C « - C<C - C« -C <C - «< - C<C - «C - «C -C <C -( « - « <' 


HIS book remains exactly as it was written, in May 1939, 
except for a cut in the pages relating to Albania, and some 
deletions in the appendices, for the sake of brevity. 

My estimate of Russia was much questioned in England, 
for we were then being told that the Soviet Union did not 
seek any territory for itself, nor desire to interfere with the 
internal affairs of other countries. We know better now. In 
war one learns the truth about nations, as one does about 
men. The Soviet record of aggression is even worse than 
that of Germany, and the diabolical methods which I de- 
scribe again and again in my book — in the recent history 
of Hungary, Germany, Italy, Spain — have been exactly 
repeated in the parts of Poland occupied by Red troops. 

I do not pretend, of course, that I have been right in all 
my judgments. Certainly I underestimated the pagan influ- 
ences in Nazi Germany. The bulk of the German people 
are good Christians, but there seems to be a majority of the 
Nazi Party, not a small section, as I suggested, which wor- 
ships much the same tribal gods as the Mongols did when 
the Golden Horde rode up to the gates of Europe, making 
pyramids of skulls in its path. 

To-day the issue is joined, and it is not possible for a 



private individual to prophesy, nor for a patriot to advance 
his ov^n viev^s v^ith too much confidence. This much, hov^- 
ever, I may say: I v^as alv^ays against the giving of a pledge 
to Poland. I believed that a settlement could have been 
arrived at over the questions of Danzig and the Corridor. 
But had this been possible, had a Polish plenipotentiary 
arrived promptly on the fateful day of August 30th, and 
had he been presented w^ith Herr Flitler's "sixteen points" 
(which is at least open to doubt — he might have been con- 
fronted v^ith very different demands) I have nov^ no doubt 
that Germany would have soon found another excuse to set 
her armies on the march. Obviously the partition of Poland 
must have been planned with Russia months before the 
event took place, and nothing that Germany can say now 
can alter that plain fact. Aggression was deliberately planned. 
Had no pledge to Poland been given we might have been 
able to meet Germany on better strategic ground (e.g. the 
line of the Danube) but the moral issue would not have been 
affected, and it is no use speculating on might-have-beens. 
The war was inevitable, given the paranoiac will to power 
of which Herr Hitler became the victim when he sent his 
tanks to Prague last March. After that nothing but a 
miracle would have given us peace. "Where was the hurry?" 
I have written in this book. "The reasons given are entirely 
unconvincing. Either Herr Hitler made a serious blunder, 
which is always possible in a dictatorship as absolute as his, 
or else his aim is the military conquest of Southeastern 
Europe. We shall soon know." 


Now the cards are on the table, the nations are in their 
harness, and the Hghts have gone out in half Europe. How- 
ever the war goes, and whatever the eventual definition of 
our war-aims (the latter is a question which cannot be settled 
without the French) our present position is clear enough. 
The Germans intended to impose a settlement on Poland by 
force, and we were, and are, determined to meet force with 
force. We are determined to do so because we had ample 
evidence that the Polish quarrel was neither the beginning 
nor the end of a coldly-calculated series of swoops and 
pounces, designed to give Germany the mastery of Europe. 
In the preceding pages the reader will see that I have 
given the National Socialist regime the credit for much 
constructive work in its national affairs, and that I have 
found every excuse possible for the way Herr Hitler threw 
off the shackles of the Versailles Treaty. But for the march 
on Prague there is no excuse in my book, nor in the mind 
of any sane man. Finally, and fortunately for us, the Russo- 
German Pact damned him not alone in my insignificant 
eyes, but in the opinion of those who might otherwise have 
been his allies: Italy, Spain, Japan. 

Certainly this is a strange conflict, in which we began by 
dropping leaflets over Germany, and the Germans by bring- 
ing loudspeakers to bombard the French positions. Mean- 
while the Russian Bear, whose paws are dripping with the 
blood of one victim, hugs himself with joy at the thought of 
further conquests. Given time, he might eat us all. We know 
this, but cannot release our grip on Germany for fear that 


she may have us by the throat. That is the situation at the 
moment; but Russia, as I have endeavored to show, has no 
miHtary backbone. Lingering on the outskirts of a dogfight 
is never a safe occupation, as the Bear v^ill one day discover. 

Bolshevism is dead, we are often told. That is the parrot- 
cry in the parlors of our suburban intelligentsia. The Comin- 
tern is dead, but Dimitrov is in command of the sovietization 
of Poland, v^here every farmer, every priest, every "capi- 
talist" has been hunted down and butchered, as these classes 
were in Spain, and as they will be in the Baltic Provinces 
unless we can save them in time. Hitler has turned his coat 
in a hysterical rage, but not Stalin: the Anti-Christ of the 
Kremlin is vJatching what he believes to be the downfall of 
the West. 

He will be disillusioned. Christendom will not collapse 
as easily as Stalin thinks — and perhaps Hitler. How Poland 
and the Baltic States are to be liberated is not within the 
competence of anyone living to foretell. Before these lines arc 
printed the situation may have changed out of all recogni- 
tion. All that can be said with confidence is that Germany 
started this war, and that before it ends we shall make certain 
that never again will she confront Europe with the hideous 
situation she has forced on us to-day, and not only to-day, but 
twenty years ago. And oftener. One must be French to 
realize the German menace. But as an Englishman who has 
lived much abroad, I also feel in my bones that we have 
reached the parting of the ways. 

We were loth to begin this war, and anxious to live in 


friendly relations with Germany. The memorandum of His 
Majesty's Government to the German Chancellor of August 
28th* — only six days before the declaration of war — states that 
"if a complete and lasting understanding between the two 
countries could be established it would bring untold bless- 
ings to both peoples." Mr. Chamberlain was ready to go to 
great lengths to achieve a just settlement, and he would 
certainly have carried this country with him. But Herr Hitler 
would not wait. There was a feverish, fantastic atmosphere 
about the midnight conferences at the Wilhelmstrasse. On 
August 29th, at 7.15 p.m., the German Chancellor demanded 
that a Polish plenipotentiary should appear in Berlin next 
day; and the British Government replied, at 2 a.m. on the 
30th, that "we shall give careful consideration to the German 
Government's reply, but it is of course unreasonable to expect 
that we can produce a Polish representative in Berlin to-day." 
Of course it was unreasonable. And why Herr Hitler could 
not wait is obvious: his tanks and bombing squadrons had 
already received their orders. 

That night (August 30th) at midnight, Herr von Ribben- 
trop read out the German proposals regarding Danzig and 
the Corridor to Sir Nevile Henderson. These proposals 
might well have formed a basis for discussion, but the 
German Foreign Minister declared it was then too late, 
for no Polish plenipotentiary had arrived. Next day all com- 
munications were cut off between Germany and Poland, 
and at dawn on September ist the Blitzkrieg began . . . 

♦Published in the United States by the Carnegie Endowment for International 
Peace, 405 W. 117th St., N. Y. C, in October, 1939. 


Reluctant as we were to fight, we shall now hold fast 
until Germany has had enough. Our enemies count on 
Russian intervention having confused the issue. Certainly 
Christendom is coming to realize, as never before, that 
Bolshevism intends to destroy our civilization as soon and as 
completely as possible. Herr Hitler may fade into a figure of 
minor significance if Berlin joins hands more closely with 
Moscow, as seems likely. But the real issue of the war 
remains: is Europe to be Christian or pagan? 

We are not fighting for material gain (fantastic thought! 
most of us know that we shall be ruined) nor to break up 
Germany (though she must certainly be defeated), still less, 
I hope, to impose another Versailles Treaty. All we desire — 
but the quest is as high as that of the Holy Grail, indeed it is 
the same quest, for the vessel of the wine of freedom — is that 
Europe shall be liberated from the continual threat of aggres- 
sion. As an earnest of this, Germany will have to restore the 
Polish parts of Poland, and the Czech provinces of Bohemia 
and Moravia, and there must be guarantees for their integrity 
more valid than the word of the Nazi Government. 

Europe is not relapsing into barbarism. All the signs point 
the other way. We have entered into a straight and narrow 
path that shall lead to our salvation, or if that be too big a 
word, to a return to the Christian principles on which our 
civilization and liberties are founded. There are no short 
cuts to this goal, but we are headed in the right direction. 

F. y.-B. 

Chislehurst, Kent 

October 30th, 1939 

\ - xvy . \NV fff , fff „ fff , ( 


Abdul Hamid, Sultan, 255 

Abyssinia, 27, 99-100 

Adlon Hotel, Berlin, 139 

Adolf Hitler Schools, 163-166 

Advertisers, influence of, on news- 
papers, 14 

Aguirre, Senor, 272 

Albania, 233-240 

Alcazar of Toledo, 283-285 

Alexander, King of Yugoslavia, 151 

Algabeno, Pepe el, 302 

"Aliquid hxret," 16 

Anarchists, 309-310 

Anglo-Italian Gentleman's Agreement, 

Animal protection in Italy, 99 

Ankara, 257, 261 

Antequera, 310 

Anti-God Museums, 37 

Appeasement, policy of, 13 

Arab claims in Palestine, 17, 195-200 

Arcos raid, 49 

Arditi, 75 

Art in U.S.S.R., 39-40 

Ataturk, Kemal, 118, 255, 260-261 

Atheism in the U.S.S.R., 38-39 

Athens, 251, 261 

Attlee, Mr., in Limehouse, 208; in 
Spain, 281-282 

Austria, the Anschluss, 129-138; the 
Austro-Hungarian Elmpire, 203 

Autostroy, 59-61 

Av until, Mussolini's editorship of, 70 

Ayala, Senor Perez de, 21 

Azana, Senor Manuel, 293, 295 

Babar, the Great Moghul, 345 

Badajoz, "massacre" at, 14 

Badoglio, General, 83 

Bagehot, Walter, 353 

Bakunin, 309 

Balbo, Italo, 81 

Baldwin, Lord, 13, 399 

Balfour, Lord, 195 

Balkans, the, 233-269 

Barcelona, 274 

Barker, Professor Ernest, 399 

Baroque Exhibition in Prague, 378 

Bartlett, Vernon, 19 

Basil's, St., Moscow, 38 

Beck, Colonel, 117 

Belgrade, 244, 261 

Benes, Dr., 13, 128, 203, 208, 229, 

Berchtesgaden, 213 
Berlin, night life, 50, 115-116 
Berta, Giovanni, 79 
"Big business," 14 
Bilbao, 273-274 
Biro Bidjan, 200 
Black Hand, 243 
Blood-feuds in Albania, 237 
Blum, Leon, 192, 212, 323 
Bohemia, 215 

Bolsheviks, see Communism 
Bonifica Integrale, 101-102 
Boris, King of Bulgaria, 246, 264 
Brandolini, Count, 72 
Bratislava, 214 

Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of, 64 
British Empire, 344, 351, 354 
British lion, 340 
Browne, Sir Thomas, 16-17 
Bucharest, 250, 261 
Budapest, 49, 219 
Bukharin, 44 




Caballero, Largo, 24, 285, 295, 299, 

Caleta Palace Hotel, at Malaga, 279 
Carol, King of Rumania, 250-251, 

Caporetto, 74 
Capuchins, Church of the, in Vienna, 


Carmona, President, 23 

Cattell, Raymond B., 347-348 

Cecil, Lord, 346, 390 

Chamberlain, Neville, 13, 17, 206-207, 

Charlemagne, 26-27 

Chatfield, Lord, 212 

Chillon, Casde of, 18 

Christian duty to bear arms, 395 

City of London, 15 

Clemenceau, 323 

Coblenz, 112 

Codreanu, 250 

Cohen, Dr. Oscar, 49 

Colosseum, in Rome, 105 

Comintern, see Communism 

Communism {^see also Lenin, Stalin, 
and U.S.S.R.), planning for pos- 
terity, 30; illiteracy decreased, 30; 
atheism, 38-39; Left Wing, 44; Right 
Wing, 44; intrigues and murders, 
48-55; prices, 63; theory and prac- 
tice, 65-66; Stalin's speech, 67; 
outrages in Italy, 78-79; perversion 
of youth, 142, 224, 389; Com- 
munist organizations in Germany, 
143; outrages in Germany, 147-148; 
in Hungary, 221-226; intrigues in 
Greece, 252; atrocities in Spain, 273, 
279-281, 286, 291-300, 310-312; 
organization of Popular Front in 
France, 325-329; disorders in France, 
333; comparable to Nazism and 
Fascism? 337; statistics of executions 
in Russia, 337; organization of Com- 
munism in England, 337-342; or- 
ganization in Czecho-Slovakia, 388 

Companys, Sefior, 294 

Compiegne, forest of, 322 

Complementality, Theory of, 335 

Conquistadores, 283 

Conscription, 341-342 

Cooper, A. Duff-, 128 

Cordell Hull, Mr., 25 

Cot, Pierre, 212, 388 

Croats, 245 

Croix de Feu, 328 

Czar Nicholas II of Russia, 29 

Czarevitch, 37 

Czarina's room at Tsarkoye Selo, 35 

Czecho-Slovakia, 203-218, 378-391 


Daily Mirror, 316 

Daladier, M., 331 

Danube, River, 138, 219, 268 

Danzig, and the Corridor, 263 

Darvi^in, Charles, 117 

Darwin, Dr. C. G., 335 

Dedeagatch, 247-248 

Dekabrists, 30 

Delbos, Yvon, 295 

Dervishes, 236 

Detskoye Selo, 33 

Devil, the, 20 

Diana Theater, Milan, 79 

Dictatorships, similarities between? 337 

Differential birth rate, 346 

Dimitrov, Gregori, 18, 249 

Dinamiteros, 270 

Dinghofer, Dr., 131 

Dingle, Reginald J., 328 

Diplomats, and armed strength, 268 

Disarmament, 151 

DoUfuss, Engelbert, 151 

Dolma Baghtche, 255 

Dopolavoro, 103-104 

Dovia, 69 

Dresden, 154 

Dubrovnik, 241 

Duemas, 276 

Dukes, Sir Paul, 33, 47 

Durango, 270 

Eibar, 270 

Endurance, of Englishmen, 345 



England, 22, 211, 344-345, 352 
Ernst, Karl, 153 
Eugenics, 177 

Facta, Signer, 82 

Fan Noli, Monsignor, 238-239 

Fantastic stories, 14 

Faulhauber, Cardinal von, 161 

Fascism, fear of, in England, 17; 
foundation of, 75; militia, 81, 83; 
breaking strikes, 78, 82; hierarchy 
of, 93; Chamber of Fasces and Cor- 
porations, 93; Syndicates, 94; elec- 
tions, 96; press, 96-97; colonization 
of Libya, loi; Dopolavoro, 103-104; 
Mussolini's definition of, 367-369 

Fiat Motor Works, 77 

Finland, Communist intrigues in, 48 

Fontenoy, M. Jean, 64, 181-182 

France, 319-334 

Franco, General Francisco, 274-277, 
289-290, 308, 314 

Franco-Soviet Pact, 124 

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke, 243 

Freemasonry, English, 323, 379; Grand 
Orient, 323 

French Empire, 354 

General Strike in England, 49; in 
Italy, 82; in France, 330 

George II, King of Greece, 251, 264 

Germany (^see also Hitler, and National 
Socialism), our treatment of, 12, 
13; in 1932, 115-116; colonics, 
126-128; Communism in, 140-146; 
elections in, 147; unemployment in, 
156-157; Winter Help Work, 158; 
Christianity in, 159-162; education 
in, 162-168; action in Czecho- 
slovakia, 203-218; in the Balkans, 
246, 267-269; claims against Po- 
land, 263; fighting stock of, in 
rural districts, 353 

Gibbon, 228 

Gibbs, Sir Philip, 217 

Godesberg, 209 

Goebbels, Joseph, 133 

Gollancz, Victor, 174-176 

Gorki {formerly Nijni-Novgorod), 59 

Gorki, Maxim, 56 

Graham, Harry, 343 

Grand Duchesses, of Russia, murder of, 

Greece, 251-254 
Grey, Lord, 196 

Guernica, "annihilation" of, 271-273 
Gunther, John, 57 


Hacha, President, 214 

Halifax, Lord, 209 

Hamburger, Dr. Eugene, 191 

Hamid, Abdul, 237 

Hapsburg, House of, 135 

Hardy, Thomas, 118 

Harold, King, 27 

Heekelingen, H. de Vries de, 183 

Henlein, Conrad, 207, 383, 387 

Herbert Library, at Tirana, 237 

Hernandez, Jesus, 295 

Himmler, Heinrich, 152 

Hider, Adolf, swoop on Prague, ii; 
in place of Charlemagne, 27; impres- 
sion on meeting, 119; education, 
119; Munich putsch, 120; fervor 
inspired by, 172; notes for early 
speeches, 120; method of speaking, 
121-122; Mein Kampf, 118, 122-123; 
his intuition, 122; how trustworthy? 
125; broken pledges? 128; in Linz, 
135; in Vienna, 137; Rohm purge, 
152-153; interested in fashions, 156; 
at Nuremberg, 169-172; in Munich, 
206; at Godesberg, 209-210; in 
Berlin, 210; in Prague, 215; goes 
through Tyrol, 231; childhood and 
career, 370-377 

Hlinka Guards, 214 

Hoare, Sir Samuel, 11 

Hodza, Dr., 207, 383 

Hogg, Quintin, 275 



Holy Roman Empire, 203 
Hradschin Castle, 215 
Hungary, 219-232, 264 
Hussein, Sherif of Mecca, 195 
Huxley, Aldous, 394 

Inge, Dean, 176 

Inonu, Ismet, 260 

Intelligence quotient, 348 

International Jewry, 354 

Internationalism, 349-350 

Intervention and non-intervention in 
Spain, 313-314 

Irun, 270 

Islam and Zionism, 198-199; and the 
Dervish Orders, 236 

Israel, Children of, 173-202 

Istanbul, 255 

Italian character, 74, 87; press, 96-97; 
protection of animals, 99; coloniza- 
tion of Libya, loi; declaration on 
racial problems, 182 

Italy, position of in event of war, 88-89, 
108, III; slogans, 109; King of Italy, 
92; demands from France, 108; 
Italians and Germans as allies, 108; 
Czecho-Slovak crisis, 109-110; and 
Albania, 239 


"Jamais!" 333 

Jehu, 118 

Jews, 173-202; in Vienna, 136; prom- 
ise of Jehovah to, 174; revolution- 
aries? 176; racial problems, 176; in 
Russia, 179; in Italy, 182; in Ger- 
many, 186; in Hungary, 190; in 
France, 192; in England, 193; in 
Palestine, 195-201; Zionism, 198- 
202; in Poland, 263 

Jezebel, 118 

Jibuti, 108 

Jorrocks, John, 346 

Joy, Strength through, 155 

Jukes, 177-178 
Jung, Guido, 183 
Jurovski, 36 


Kalemegdan, 244 

Kamenev, 44, 56 

Karolyi, Count Michael, 221-223 

Kellogg Pact, 229 

Kerensky, 30, 40, 180 

Kerrl, Reichsminister, 161 

King-Hall, Stephen, 19 

Kippenberger, Hans (alias Langer), 

Kirov, murder of, 55 
Kitzbiihel, 129, 132-134 
Korvin-Klein, Otto, 225 
Koutipov, murder of, 51 
Kraft durch Freude, 156 
KroU Opera House, 121-122 
Kruja, 239 

Labor Camps, in Germany, 162, 166- 

Lansbury, George, 394 
Lasalle's pendulum, 37 
Latins and Teutons, 27 
Lenin, Vladimir, 30, 31, 38, 41, 42-44, 

46-47. 54 
Leningrad, 29 
Lerroux, Senor, 21 
Ley, Dr., 156 

Liberal Democracy, 18, 21, 24, 73 
Liberty, political, 22 
Libya, colonization of, loi 
Liebknecht, Karl, 140 
Lion, the British, 340 
Lion d'Or Hotel, at Selles, 319 
Lippizaner horses, 136-137 
Lithuania, Communist intrigues in, 50 
Little Entente, 229 
Litvinov, 182 
Livingstone, Dame Adelaide, 396 



Lubbe, van der, 149 
Lucknow, 344 
Lunacharsky, 63 


Macaulay, Rose, 394 

MacDonald, Ramsay, 37 

Macedonian terrorists, 249 

Madariaga, Sefior, 21 

Madrid, 286-289, 307 

Magyars in Rumania, 229; in Yugo- 
slavia, 230 

Malaga, 278, 311 

Maltoni, Rosa, 362 

Manchester Guardian, 212 

Marafion, Dr. Gregorio, 21, 292 

Marx, Karl, 64, 180 

Masaryk, Thomas Garrigne, 118, 292 

Matchek, Dr., 245 

Maternal Welfare Center in Moscow, 

McMahon, Sir Henry, 195 

Mein Kampf, 118 

Memel, 261-262 

Metaxas, General, 251 

Mihai, Prince of Rumania, 251 

Mill, John Stuart, 346 

Miller, General, 52 

Minorities, in Czecho-Slovakia, 203; 
Rumania, 229; Yugoslavia, 230; 
problem of, 231; Croats, 246; Memel, 

Moors, 277, 287 

Moral indignation, Anglo-Saxon, 352 

Morale of soldiers, 71 

Moravia, 215 

Moscardo, General, 284 

Munguia, 273 

Munich, in 1923, 115; Winter Help 
Work, 158; Mr. Chamberlain flies 
to, 206 

Mussolini, our treatment of, 27; birth- 
place, 69; editorship of Avantil 70, 
366; essay on morale, 71; wounded, 
72; Popolo d'ltalia, 75, 367; deputy 
for Milan, 80; opinion of Com- 
munism, 80; summoned to Rome, 

84; Albania, 88; living "like a lion," 
89; epigrams, 89; author's interview 
with, 90; routine, 91; protection of 
animals, 99; methods of speaking, 
109; racial questions, 183; Jews, 185; 
letter to Lord Runciman, 206; Four- 
Power Pact, 267; birth, 362; Sorel's 
prophecy concerning, 367; creed of 
Fascism, 367-369 
Mussolini, Signora, 70 


Narodne Jednota, 384 

Nasr-ud-din Hodja, 260 

National Socialism, fear of, in Eng- 
land, 17; foundation of, 119; loyalty 
amongst leaders of, 122; position of 
party in 1932, 145; casualties among, 
146; voting for, 147; growth of 
party, 151; social service, 157; atti- 
tude to religion, 159-162; education. 

Nationalist Spain, see Spain 

Naumann, Dr., 187 

Naval agreement with Germany, 124 

Nazi eagle, 341 


Nazis, see National Socialism 

Negrin, Dr., 13, 274 

Newspapers, 14 

NiemoUer, Dr. Martin, 160 

Nin, Andres, 298 

"No! No! Never!" 219-232 

Noli, Monsignor Fan, 238-239 

Non-intervention and intervention in 
Spain, 313-314 

November, 1917, in Petrograd, 41 

Noyes, Alfred, 335 

Nuremberg Rally of 1937. 169-172; 
of 1938, 205-206 

Observer, the, 386 
Odeonsplatz, 120 



Ordensburg, 165 
Orthodox Clergy, of Russia, 30 
Osservatore Romano, 97, 184 
Oudendyke, M., 180 
Ovicdo, 294 

Pacifism, 343, 392-399 

Palestine, 192-199 

Paris, 320 

Paul, Prince of Yugoslavia, 246, 264 

Peace Ballot analyzed, 396-398 

Peace Pledge Group, 393 

Peers, Professor E. Allison, 292, 294 

Peri, Gabriel, 285 

Pescecani, 72 

Petlioura, murder of, 51 

Pilsudski, Marshal, 117 

Plebiscite for Czecho-Slovakia, 206 

Pogany, Joseph, 225 

Poland, Communist invasion of, 49; 

Germany's claims against, 263-264 
Polish Corridor, 117 
Ponsonby, Lord, 394 
Pontine Marshes, 102 
Portugal, 23-26 

Pounces and swoops, policy of, 27 
Prague, 378, 385 
Predappio, New, 69 
Press, 13, 16, 142, 224, 315, 326-327 
Preysing, Count, Bishop of Berlin, 161 
Princep, Gabriel, 243 
Propaganda, 1 2 

Protectorates, the German, 203-218 
Protestant Churches in Germany, 159- 

Purdah, 242-243 
Putiloff works, strike at, in Petrograd, 


Quadrumviratc, Fascist, 83 
Quakers, 393 

Qucipo de Llano, General, 277-278, 


Racial question. Dean Inge on, 176- 

Radek, Karl, 63-64 

Ragusa, 241 

Rasputin, 33 

Rathenau, Walther, 187 

Red Horse of Troy, 18-20 

Red Square in Moscow, 32 

Reichsberufwettkampf, 163 

Reichstag fire, 50, 149-150 

Reifer, Dr, Manfred, 189 

Reiss, Leo, 192 

Requetes, 277 

Revolutionary movements, 28; sixteen 
Heroes of Revolution, 55 

Rhineland, 113, 122 

Riddell, Lord, 14 

Rising Sun, 341 

Roberts, Wilfrid, 207 

Rocquc, Colonel dc la, 333 

Rohm, Ernst, 152-153 

Romagna, 69 

Roman Catholic Church, in Italy, 97; 
in Germany, 161-162 

Romanoffs, murder of, 33, 36-37 

Rome, march on, 83-84 

Rosenberg, Dr., 155, 165 

Round Pond, goldfish in, 211 

Rumania, 14, 229, 248-251, 265 

Runciman, 204, 206, 389 

Russia (see U.S.S.R.) before the Revo- 
lution, 34-35 

Ruthenia, 213 

Rykov, 44 


S.A. men, 152 

Sa'adi, Sheikh, 17, 335 

Saar, plebiscite, 129 

Sabotage in U.S.S.R., 64; in Germany, 

St. Isaac's Cathedral, in Moscow, 37 
St. Raphael, 319 
St. Stephen's Crown, 219 
Salamanca, 277, 282, 289 
Salazar, Dr. Oliviera, 23-26 



San Sofia, 257 
Sanjurjo, General, 298 
Savoy, House of, 92 
Scheubner-Richter, Dr. von, 120 
Schleicher, General von, 153 
Schneider-Creuzot, Munition Works, 


Schuschnigg, Dr. von, 13; plebiscite, 

Selles, the Lion d'Or Hotel, 319 

Serajevo, 242 

Seville, 278; taking of, by Queipo de 
Llano, 302-306 

Sinclair, Sir Archibald, 275 

Sirovy, General, 208, 380 

Skander Beg, 235 

Skoda Works, 151 

Slovaks, 214, 229 

Slovenes, 246 

Smolny Institute, 31 

Sobraniye, 248 

Sofia, 246, 249 

Sokolnikov, M. and Mme., 63 

Sonthofen, 162 

Sorel, Georges, 366 

South America, Spanish influence in, 

Soviet Russia, see U.S.S.R. 

Spanish Riding School in Vienna, 136 

Spartakus League, 140 

Spectator, the, 11 

Stakhanov, Alexei, 61 

Stalin, Joseph, atheist, 38; Commissar 
of Nationalities, 42; views on vi^orld 
revolution, 45-46; letter to Young 
Communist, 46; views on Socialism, 
65; speech of March loth, 1939, 67- 
68; letter to Comrade Thalheimer, 
118; birth and career, 359-361 

Stolyapin, 30 

Strength through Joy, 155-156 

Suez Canal, 108 

Switzerland, 23 

Szalasi, Major Frank, 231 

Tabouis, Mme. Genevieve, 19 
Tanks, 287 

Teruel, murder of Bishop of, 285-286 

Teutons and Latins, 27 

Thalheimer, Herr, 117 

Third (Communist) International, see 

Thorez, Maurice, 57, 325, 328 

Tirana, 234-235 

Tiso, Father, 229 

Tisza, Count Stephen, 220 

Toelz, 165 

Toledo, 283; Alcazar of, 283 

Tomsky, 44 

Tormay, Countess, quoted, 111 

Torquemada, 276 

Torture cells. Communist, at Barce- 
lona, 280-281 

Training of British people for war, 

Trianon, Treaty of, 231 
Trotsky, Leon, 41, 44 
Trujillo, 283 
Tsankov, Professor, 248 
Tsarkoye, Selo, 32 
Tunisia, 108 
Turkey, 255-261 


U.S.S.R. {see Communism and Stalin), 
29-68; the Czar, 30; middle classes, 
30; industry, 31; Lenin, 32; Roma- 
noffs, 33-37; Anti-God Museums, 37; 
art, 39; Kerensky, 40; counter- 
revolution, 41; testament of Lenin, 
42-43; Comintern, 47-55; "heroes of 
the revolution," 55; Yagoda, 56-57; 
factory at Autostroy, 59-61; prices, 
63; the future, 64; characteristics of 
the Russians, 65-66; Stalin's position, 

Ukraine, (>(i, 263 

Vatican City, 97, 161 
Venta des Aires, at Toledo, 284 
Versailles, Treaty of, 12, 124 
Vevey, 18 

[4i6] INDEX 

Vienna, 135-138 

Voluntary National Register, 343 

Voroshilov, Marshal, 55 


Weimar Republic, 143 
Weizmann, Dr. Chaim, 196 
Wells, H. G., 35, 40 
William the Conqueror, 27 
Wilson, Sir Arnold, 272 
Winter Help Work in Germany, 138 
"Wish-thinking," 22 
Women and children, propaganda uses 
of, 274 

Women's International League of Peace 
and Freedom, 209 

Yagoda, 55-57 
Yugoslavia, 242-246, 265 

Zagreb, 245 

Zetkin, Klara, 140 

Zion, Dominion of, 200-202 

Zog, King of Albania, 236-239 


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